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The Cognitive Challenge of War:
Prussia 1806
Peter Paret

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"[T]his book is a major achievement that few historians could even have tried to undertake, and the reader will be richly rewarded by the unusually comprehensive perspective and the many compelling insights. Anybody interested in Prussian history of the nineteenth century, Napoleonic military history, military and strategic theory, or the history of military innovation will find the price well worth paying."--Claus Telp, European History Quarterly

"Paret writes profoundly on the Prussian military reforms and on the ideas that underpinned them. . . . His greatest success . . . is in revealing [the] linkage . . . between the ideas of the military reformers, Clausewitz amongst them, and the broader cultural trends at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."--Michael Rowe, European Review of History

"Paret's achievement in this elegant extended essay is to show how On War emerged not just from the wreckage of Jena-Auerstadt, but also from the political, social, artistic, and literary context in which it was conceived."--Alex Roland, ISIS


"Peter Paret is one of the very few scholars capable of addressing what he calls the cognitive challenge of war--the sad fact that those who wage war are often surprised by its unintended consequences and baffled by its dynamic range. This graceful and nuanced book should stand as a classic study of this problem."--John Shy, professor emeritus of history, University of Michigan

"This is a wonderful book--cogently and concisely argued, elegantly written, and displaying a vast depth of knowledge. It is a sustained, mature, and authoritative reflection on a subject that Peter Paret knows intimately, and it will delight a wide range of readers. While there is a great deal of talk nowadays about 'new cultural approaches' to military history, this book is the real thing; it should be viewed as a major event."--Robert Citino, author of The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich

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File created: 4/21/2017

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