3rd Edition

Masters of War Classical Strategic Thought

By Michael I. Handel Copyright 2001
    510 Pages
    by Routledge

    526 Pages
    by Routledge

    This is the first comprehensive study based on a detailed textual analysis of the classical works on war by Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Mao Tse-tung, and to a lesser extent, Jomini and Machiavelli. Brushing stereotypes aside, the author takes a fresh look at what these strategic thinkers actually said—not what they are widely believed to have said. He finds that despite their apparent differences in terms of time, place, cultural background, and level of material/technological development, all had much more in common than previously supposed. In fact, the central conclusion of this book is that the logic of waging war and of strategic thinking is as universal and timeless as human nature itself.

    This third, revised and expanded edition includes five new chapters and some new charts and diagrams.

    Chapter 1 Strategy: Past Theories, Modern Practice; Chapter 2 Comparing Sun Tzu and Clausewitz; Chapter 3 The Definition of War: A Question of the Level of Analysis; Chapter 4 Clausewitz and Mao Tse-tung on Theory and Practice in War; Chapter 5 ‘Attacking the Enemy's Plans’ and the Concept of ‘The Center of Gravity’: Eastern Psychology and Western Mechanics; Chapter 6 The Primacy of Politics and the Military Commander; Chapter 7 The Rational Calculus of War: Correlating Ends and Means; Chapter 8 Clausewitz on the Role of ‘Moral Forces’ in War; Chapter 9 The Supreme Act of Judgment: Understanding the ‘Nature of War’ and the ‘Trinitarian Analysis’; Chapter 10 The First Element of the Remarkable Trinity: The People in Arms; Chapter 11 The Ideal and the Real: Victory Without Bloodshed and the Search for the Decisive Battle; Chapter 12 Speed, Numerical Superiority, and Victory; Chapter 13 on Clausewitz's use of the ideal-type method.; Chapter 14 Clausewitz on War Termination; Chapter 15 Deception, Surprise, and Intelligence; Chapter 16 On Military Leadership; Chapter 17 Boldness and Calculation; Chapter 18 Corbett, Clausewitz, and Sun Tzu; Chapter 19 Conclusions: Towards a Unified Theory of War;


    Michael I. Handel