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 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. Furthermore, it provides a solid basis from which debate on the nature of modern war can move forward.

chapter 1|17 pages


chapter 2|26 pages

Theoretical Foundations 1

chapter 3|28 pages

Context and Circumstance

chapter 4|29 pages

Politics: War as an Instrument

chapter 5|29 pages

Chance: The Realm of Uncertainty 1

chapter 6|28 pages

Passion: The Blind Natural Force

chapter 7|18 pages

Interactions: The Trinity as a Unity

chapter 8|8 pages