Clausewitz : Philosopher of War book cover
1st Edition

Philosopher of War

  • Available for pre-order on May 11, 2023. Item will ship after June 1, 2023
ISBN 9781032101897
June 1, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
432 Pages

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Book Description

In this edition, originally published in 1983, the late Professor Raymond Aron, one of France’s most distinguished social scientists, presented a major re-evaluation of Carl von Clausewitz, ‘the genius of war’. He sees in Clausewitz a political philosopher of major importance, whose impact and significance permeate many facets of modern society. Yet Clausewitz’s reputation was entirely posthumous, for his great work, On War, was published after his death, and in his lifetime he achieved only a limited reputation as a military thinker and planner. Even today he is more often quoted than closely read.

Aron begins by elucidating the complexity of Clausewitz’s thought and by describing his main ideas. He gives an account of the successive phases in the development of On War, and traces the different interpretations of Clausewitz’s doctrine in Germany, in France and in Soviet Russia. Finally, Aron analyses many aspects of the present world using the concepts of Clausewitz, and is therefore able to examine such modern phenomena as the theory of the nuclear deterrent and ‘total war’ in Clausewitzian terms.

This is a book of piercing insights by a writer of world-wide reputation, who used the Clausewitz world-view as a means of political analysis. It is thus still of great importance and interest to contemporary historians and to all who are concerned with military and political affairs.

Table of Contents

Preface.  Introduction to Parts I, II and III: On the Interpretation of History.  Part I: From Writer to Writings  1. The Life of Clausewitz  2. The Formation of Thought (1804–30)  3. The Final Synthesis and the Strategic Debate  Part II: The Dialectic  4. The Means and the Ends  5. The Moral and The Physical  6. Defence and Attack  Part III: The Theoretical Scheme  7. The Art of War  8. Theory and History  9. From Theory to Doctrine.  Introduction to Parts IV and V  Part IV: Defender or Prosecutor?  10. Annihilation and Attrition  11. The Meeting of Two Revolutions  12. Arming the People  Part V: The Nuclear Age: The Gamble of Reason  13. The ‘Deterrence Cheque’  14. ‘War is a Chameleon’  15. Policy or the Expression of the Spirit of the State.  Epilogue: Goodbye to Arms, or the Great Illusion.  Index.

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Raymond Aron