Why this book?
Contrary to expectations of heavy reading, the work is presented in digestible short chunks, especially in this abridged version which skips all the dated parts. Clausewitz’s work is so outstanding because he started with a (relatively) clean slate, aiming to reach a better understanding of what drives war in general, rather than, as most of his predecessors, to write “how to” manuals. Clausewitz died of cholera before he could finish revising it – as he had changed his mind about a fundamental question: was all future warfare going to be like Napoleonic War? When he had set out to write, he had thought it would, but it dawned on him later that it might not. Therefore some important contradictions remain. Still, the majority of Clausewitz’s insights are still extremely valuable today.