War, Clausewitz and the Trinity

Thomas Waldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


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 the great Prussian in historical context, he presents a conception which is 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 and in the light of contemporary scholarship on war, this book draws on existing studies, but argues that there is room for further clarification. It presents fresh perspectives into aspects of Clausewitz's thought and emphasizes elements of his theory that have often been neglected. Furthermore, it provides a detailed interpretation of the trinity intended to serve as a solid basis from which debate on the nature of modern war can move forward.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBurlington, VT
PublisherAshgate Publishing
Number of pages203
ISBN (Electronic)9781317000464
ISBN (Print)9781409451396
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

First published 2013 by Ashgate Publishing. Ebook published 2016 by Routledge.


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