Tuesday, July 26

Marie von Clausewitz: The Woman behind the Making of On War.

I've told you many times that one of the key things a good leader knows about are logistics. And of course strategy. Both are refined to a giant extent in the war studies arena. And my Phd at the department of war studies at King's college helped me tremendously. The book by Clausewitz, On War, is a seminal book on this subject. In a few years, do try to read it son. It would be useful for you to learn from the master of war on how to wage war, the strategy and logistics. Amazing book. 
And then this book review talks about a different aspect, his wife. As you read the review, you can see how she manages to work with him, set fire to his ideas, encourage and challenge him, kick him when required, cuddle him when needed. 
You don't have to have a wife like that although if you are lucky, you will get somebody like that, somebody who is ferociously intelligent, somebody who is challenging you, kicks you when you need it, cuddles you when you need it. You know the tests to know if you've found her? Does she challenge you? Does she make you think? Does she make you laugh? And have you cried in her arms? It could be your wife, your sister, your mother, your girlfriend, your friend, doesn't matter and can be a combination even but be on the lookout for girls like that. They are rarer than gold. Of course you have to do the same thing to her. Challenge her. Encourage her. Make her feel like a queen. Make her laugh. Cuddle and kiss her. If you can do that, brilliant. You have a problem son, you are very intelligent and you are also sensitive and emotional. And ambitious.  Rare combination. You need a rare girl to be with you.  
If that meshes, great. I'm sure you will find her. Keep on the lookout son. 
But I'm so proud of you. I see you heading off to work. Working so hard. Asking questions. Very impressed son. 
Love you

H-Net Reviews
(via Instapaper)

Vanya Eftimova Bellinger. Marie von Clausewitz: The Woman behind the Making of On War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 312 pp. $29.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-19-022543-8.
Reviewed by Jill S. Russell (King's College London)
Published on H-War (March, 2016)
Commissioned by Margaret Sankey

On Marie
Opening new vistas to military and strategic history's most famous man, in The Woman behind the Making of On War, Vanya Eftimova Bellinger uses Marie von Clausewitz's letters and her marital relationship to demonstrate Marie's material role in Carl von Clausewitz's thinking and writing of his foundational work in strategy. As a biography based around the writings of the subject, Bellinger's work compares favorably to Clair Tomalin's Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (2002), as the latter imbued the story of the man with substance by way of his own words. In this book, the narrative sustains Bellinger's essential argument of Marie's critical place in this most famous piece of writing on strategy specifically. Along the way, deeper points regarding military and historical scholarship, strategy, and polities emerge. Although many will make On War the focus of this biography, that work of strategy figures only as the denouement of the Clausewitzes' lives. Given the biography's importance on two important levels, this review will address Marie's story both on its own written terms and in its comment on and place within military history as well as the practice and scholarship on strategy that have been built on it.
Consider first the text itself. Without intending to minimize it, the aim of this work is simple: to judge the influence of the "mundane" on a historic volume. In this case, for a woman like Marie, who commanded the respect of generals, the mundane became transformative, as her biography in total demonstrates her clear place in On War. And it is such attention to the quotidian that both I and Earl Wavell appreciate as a focus of study. Who was Marie? Bellinger sums her up as "a restless spirit and a politically active woman who often challenged societal conventions, spoke her mind, and lived an industrious life often independent of her husband's," even as she was until very recently still thought of as nothing particularly more than his wife (p. 5). The rich narrative that Bellinger crafts from the new correspondence and other contemporary sources sustains this characterization and our recognition of her achievements.

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