Karl von Clausewitz's study On War was described by the American strategic thinker Bernard Brodie as 'not simply the greatest, but the only great book about war'. It is hard to disagree. Even though he wrote his only major work at a time when the range of firearms was fifty yards, much of what he had to say remains relevant today. Michael Howard explains Clausewitz's ideas in terms both of his experiences as a professional soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, and of the intellectual background of his time. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Sir Michael Howard has held the Chair of War Studies at King's College London, the Chichele Chair of History of War and the Regius Chair of Modern History at Oxford, and the Robert A. Lovett Chair of Military and Naval History at Yale. His works include The Franco-Prussian War, The Causes of Wars, War and the Liberal Conscience, The Lessons of History, and War in European History. Together with Professor Peter Paret he edited and translated Clausewitz, On War.
Introduction ; 1. Clausewitz in his time ; 2. Theory and practice in war ; 3. Ends and means in war ; 4. Limited and absolute war ; 5. The legacy of Clausewitz ; Further Reading ; Index