Carl von Clausewitz was a staff officer who served with great distinction during the Napoleonic campaigns, and also a military historian and intellectual of the highest order - at ease with both the strategic doctrines of his time and the larger movements of thought in the world around him. Out of these elements he distilled his classic discussion of the nature and meaning of one of humankind's central endeavors, On War. It would be impossible to overestimate the influence of this book on subsequent strategic thinking, on the political considerations which underlie such thinking, and on the general understanding of human conflict.
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