Hello everyone! Today was a very successful day. Not only was I able to complete another book (On War by Carl Von Clausewitz), but I also was able to meet up with Stephanie at Barnes and Nobles. Since Matt was out of town and Yohanna just got back from New York, the two of us decided to get together, especially after our struggles with reading the book (explained below).
Our time at Barnes and Noble was well spent. We first concentrated on securing our laptops using the handy security cable supplied by the wonderful Mr. Gosney. It was fun getting a chance to examine our new "gadget". At first, we struggled with them, and got scared because Stephanie's cable took come fidgeting before it finally came out; but in less than fifteen minutes, we were both confident that our computers would be safe and secured.
Then, Stephanie and I discussed a little about the book we both had just completed, On War. We agreed that this book was by far the hardest to grasp. Not only were the words really complex, but the sentences were also very long. That became a huge problem for me (as much as pronouncing foreign names). Many sentences were full of commas and dashes that I eventually lost track about what it was saying and would have to re-read it in a slower pace. Besides those difficulties, as the title clearly states, Clausewitz's book was about War. He first starts by his own definition of War, which I thought was very interesting: "War...is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will" (by the way, fulfill was actually spelled like that). He states that the "true object of combat" is to destroy the enemy and his force. In addition, he believes that the strength of forces come physically and morally; and "whoever at the close has the greatest amount of both left is the conqueror." Part of the book also had to do with the art of warfare (also said to be the "Conduct of War"). One sentence that resembled Sun Tzu's writing was that there are ways to conquer the enemy in War without having to fight. Finally, at the end of the book, there is a small conclusion about Clausewitz's writing. Here it says that Clausewitz has showed us that states should not go to war without a reason to do so. His "greatest achievement" from this book was "in having made people aware of the way war can be used as an arm of national policy."
After reading On War, I was certain that we would be hearing about it a lot at Yale. I am glad that Stephanie and I had the time to meet up and hope that next time, the four of us will be able to discuss all of the books. My next book is The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, by Paul Kennedy. I will blog once more when I have completed it. Bye for now!