The Book of War
Sun-tzu The Art of Warfare & Karl von Clausewitz On War
By Ralph Peters; (Introduction by)
(Modern Library, Paperback, 9780375754777, 1024pp.)
Publication Date: February 22, 2000
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Civilization might have been spared much of the damage suffered in the world wars this century if the influence of Clausewitz's On War had been blended with and balanced by a knowledge of Sun-tzu's The Art of Warfare. --B.H. Liddel Hart
For two thousand years, Sun-tzu's The Art of Warfare was the indispensable volume of warcraft. Although his work is the first known analysis of war and warfare, Sun-tzu struck upon a thoroughly modern concept: "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." Karl von Clausewitz, the canny military theorist who famously declared that war is a continuation of politics by other means, also claims paternity of the notion "total war." His is the magnum opus of the era of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic vars.
Now these two great military minds are made to share the same tent, metaphorically speaking, in The Book of War. What a bivouac it is, and what a conversation into the night.
Military writer Ralph Peters has written a new Introduction for this Modern Library edition.
Sun-tzu lived in China in the fourth century B.C., serving as a court minister during the "Warring States" period. He delivered his pronouncements about war over the course of his career, but his words were recorded by other hands. Karl Von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian soldier who fought in the Moscow campaigns of 1812 and 1813. He spent over a dozen years writing On War, dying before his book saw publication in 1832.
Ralph Peters is a retired army officer and the author of a noted book on strategy, Fighting for the Future: Will American Triumph? He is also the author of the novels The Devil's Garden and Traitor.