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Vom Kriege - CLAUSEWITZ, Carl von - 1832. [1195790]
Ferdinand Dümmler 1832-1834, Berlin - First edition, and a fine set, of his famous philosophy of war (PMM 297). "These thousand pages of ‘On Warfare’ occupy a unique position among military writings of any age and nation. The book is less a manual of strategy and tactics, although it incorporates the lessons learned from the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, than a general inquiry into the interdependence of politics and warfare and the principles governing either or both. War, Clausewitz maintained, must always be regarded ‘as a political instrument’; for war, his most famous aphorism runs, ‘is nothing but politics continued by different means’. Consequently, he scorns the notion of ‘the harmful influence of politics upon the conduct of war’, since blame, or praise, must be attached to politics itself. If the course of politics is sound, political influence on the conduct of war can only be advantageous: ‘The French revolutionary victories over twenty years resulted mainly from the faulty politics of the opposing governments’. "His basic conception, that military decisions must always be subordinate to political considerations, is buttressed by the emphasis laid on morals and morale as the decisive factors in war. He therefore condemns all rigid blue-prints for campaigns and battles, defines strategy as ‘a perpetual alternation and combination of attack and defence’, and implies the then startling proposition that there are no bad soldiers but only bad officers. "Clausewitz took an active part in all the continental campaigns between 1793 and 1815 as an officer in Prussian and, 1812-14, Russian services. He worked with Scharnhorst and Gneisenau for the reform of the Prussian army and from 1818 to 1830 was the head of the Berlin military academy, the forerunner of the Prussian general staff. His book Vom Kriege grew out of a series of ‘aphorisms’ jotted down in 1816-18 which formed the basis of his lectures at the academy. After his death from cholera during the Polish campaign, in which he served as chief of staff to Gneisenau, who succumbed to the same disease, the book was published by his widow and won immediate recognition as the most profound exposition of the philosophy of war - a place that has never been disputed." (Printing and the Mind of Man) 3 volumes (199 x 126 mm), bound in three fine contemporary blind tooled green cloth with gilt spine lettering, including all the half-titles (which often lack), pp. [i-v] vi-xxviii [1-3] 4-371 [1]; [i-v] vi [1-3] 4-456 [2]; [1-4] [vii] viii [v] vi [1-3] 4-386 [2]. Custom cloth slip case. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: SOPHIA RARE BOOKS]
Last Found On: 2016-09-16           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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