Why Clausewitz still matters . . . 26
This work by Hew Strachan, a professor at Oxford University and a leading scholar of military history, is a rare phenomenon: A biography of a book, or rather of the classic masterpiece and other writings of Carl von Clausewitz, who served as an officer of middle rank in the Prussian army during the wars of Napoleon. Clausewitz’s “On War” is widely regarded as the most authoritative analysis of war in any language, and Mr. Strachan provides a thorough evolutionary treatment of it, amply detailing the formative experience and fierce patriotism of Clausewitz, and his profound chagrin at Prussia’s early failure to resist Napoleon Bonaparte on the battlefield.