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Clausewitz's understanding of war was shaped by his understanding of the state, which he regarded as the central institution of modern life. His achievements as a theorist of war in turn clarify one of the state's essential activities: the use of force to defend and advance its interests and values, and those of the society it governs.The title of this volume is not wholly original. Peter Paret gave his seminal 1976 biography of Clausewitz a very similar title. However, Paret's interest in the relationship between Clausewitz and the state was different from the one explored in this volume. Paret sought to locate Clausewitz's work mainly in the context of his personal development, and within the intellectual currents of his time. The focus of this book is on theory, independent, for the most part, of the man and his times. These diverse essays take Clausewitz's ideas about the state as the starting point for analyzing the central issue (and problem) posed by his work: the relationship between war in all its manifestations, and politics in all its forms.
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