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A brief encounter with major-general Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Return of the Theorists: Dialogues with Great Thinkers in International Relations
PublisherBFI Palgrave Macmillan
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781137516459, 9781137516442
Published1 Jan 2016

King's Authors


We speak in German. 'General, I am not the first person', I venture, 'who can claim to have communed with you beyond the grave. There is something of a tradition of officers who have enjoyed this very special privilege – from Captain von Pönitz of the Saxon Army who, in the 1840s, published five volumes of letters you wrote to him from here on Mount Olympus, to a Lt. Col. Freudenberg who interviewed you in the 1970s for the US Army's Military Review on the Vietnam War.1 I notice, however, that these men generally professed to be on familiar terms with you – a right to which I could not wish to make an honest claim. I beg forgiveness for my ignorance, but would you allow me first to clarify what form of address der Herr General prefers?'

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