War, Clausewitz and the Trinity

War Clausewitz and the Trinity Today the ideas of Carl von Clausewitz are employed almost ubiquitously in strategic studies military history and defence literatures but often in a manner which distorts their true meani

  • Title: War, Clausewitz and the Trinity
  • Author: Thomas Waldman
  • ISBN: 9781409451396
  • Page: 279
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Today, the ideas of Carl von Clausewitz 1780 1831 are employed almost ubiquitously in strategic studies, military history and defence literatures, but often in a manner which distorts their true meaning In this book, Waldman explores Clausewitz s central theoretical device for understanding war the remarkable trinity of politics, chance and passion By situating theToday, the ideas of Carl von Clausewitz 1780 1831 are employed almost ubiquitously in strategic studies, military history and defence literatures, but often in a manner which distorts their true meaning In this book, Waldman explores Clausewitz s central theoretical device for understanding war the remarkable trinity of politics, chance and passion By situating the great Prussian in historical context, he presents a conception truer to Clausewitz s intention Seeking to achieve this through an in depth reinterpretation of On War and Clausewitz s other writings, conducted through the prism of the trinity, this book draws on existing studies but argues that there is room for clarification It presents fresh perspectives into aspects of Clausewitz s thought and emphasises elements of his theory that have often been neglected Further, it provides a solid basis from which debate on the nature of modern war can move forwardNTENTSForeword by Colin S Gray PrefaceIntroductionTheoretical foundationsContext and circumstancePolitics war as an instrumentChance the realm of uncertaintyPassion the blind natural forceInteractions the trinity as a unity ReflectionsBibliographyIndexREVIEWS In this committed and intelligent exploration of Clausewitz s dynamic framework for the understanding of war, Thomas Waldman demonstrates the continuing value of the remarkable trinity of passion, chance and policy for understanding war He uses it to engage directly with Clausewitz, as well as with his many critics and interpreters Sir Lawrence Freedman, King s College London, UK Thomas Waldman penetrates to the core of Clausewitz s timeless insights into war and politics and provides the essential modern guide to understanding his work and its continuing relevance Clausewitz has been endlessly misunderstood Waldman corrects those errors, focussing on the Trinity or multiple trinities identified by Clausewitz that war is the unlikely alloy of primordial passion, logic and luck Chris Bellamy, Greenwich Maritime Institute, UK Waldman provides a deep and insightful discussion of the relevance of classical Clausewitzian political military theory to war in both the historical and contemporary worlds a potent antidote to the ahistorical imaginings of the New Wars scholars Christopher Bassford, National Defense University, USA and editor of The Clausewitz Homepage

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    1 thought on “War, Clausewitz and the Trinity”

    1. Dr. Waldman's book represents a great contribution to the debate about the timelessness of Clausewitz's infamous trinity. It offers a thorough analysis of every element of the trinity thus explaining something seemingly logical, but what often is forgotten or taken for granted. The structure of this book helps the reader, even if she or he is not acquainted with Clausewitz's background, to understand the complexity of the supposedly simple triad. What is more important, is the fact that Dr. Wald [...]

    2. An excellent and in-depth exploration of Clausewitz's trinity that goes well beyond the flawed, superficial understanding of most commentators and corrects many misimpressions of the post-Vietnam interpretive school. For me, this is the best book-length work on Clausewitz since Hew Strachan's in 2007 and one of the four or five best since the 1970s. And it's particularly important now, at a moment when Clausewitz studies are working back toward equilibrium from the rationalist, liberal interpret [...]

    3. Essential reading for students of Clausewitz. The author does an excellent job of setting out Clausewitz' original theories, updating them for an era of new wars and modern combat, and integrating competing narratives on the on-going relevance of Clausewitz' work. The author draws on their own experiences of contemporary aid, so that the book is relevant for both political theorists and practitioners of international development.Its nice to see someone who actually knows and understands Clausewi [...]

    4. I'm not a fan of books about history and so I did not capture my attention. The only thing I can say about is that it was well written and is factual and informative.

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