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Monday, October 17, 2016

CLIO & ME: An Intellectual Autobiography

"Martin van Creveld ranks high among military historians, and given the changes in technology since Napoleonic Times, his work is a necessary supplement to Clausewitz." 
- Jerry Pournelle

Dr. Martin van Creveld is a significant contributor to the literature of war. A Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Dr. van Creveld is one of the world’s leading writers on military history and strategy, with a special interest in the future of war. He is fluent in Hebrew, German, Dutch, and English, and has authored more than twenty books, including the influential Technology and War: 2000 BC to the Present (1988), The Transformation of War (1991), and The Culture of War (2010). He is known for his development of the concept of “nontrinitarian” warfare as well as contributing two books to the 4GW canon, and he is deeply respected by military officers and professional strategists around the world.

CLIO & ME: An Intellectual Biography is Dr. van Creveld's most personal book, an honest, heartfelt account of his lifelong love affair with the Muse of History. It is an autobiography, not of the life, but of the mind, and as such, will be of great interest to historians and students of history alike. This "intellectual autobiography" reveals one of the great historical minds of the 21st Century to be eternally curious, endlessly inquisitive, and, unexpectedly, possessed of more than a little charm. CLIO & ME: An Intellectual Biography is 288 pages, DRM-Free, and retails for $4.99 on Amazon.

I have to say that has been a real pleasure for me to work with Martin, who is very warm and friendly in person, in stark contrast to the vast and coldly calculating mind that one occasionally glimpses in his work. He is certainly the only Castalia author with whom I am on hugging terms. But it is not at all surprising to learn that some of his professors later confessed themselves to have been intimidated by him in his youth. This is a rare opportunity to see inside the head of a genuine genius, with the historian's lens reversed and turned on himself for a change.

Anyone who admires the military historian must read this work, of course, but it will also be of interest to those who enjoy reading biographies.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Sherwood family October 17, 2016 5:59 AM  

My interest is piqued.

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 17, 2016 7:08 AM  

He is certainly the only Castalia author with whom I am on hugging terms.

What? Not Kratman? Or do wary patdowns not count?

Blogger Dave October 17, 2016 7:21 AM  

I find myself irresistibly drawn to Amazon's 1-click button due to that intro.

Anonymous Stephen Ward October 17, 2016 7:34 AM  

bought it. Ever since "The History of Strategy" van Creveld is on my must-read list.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 17, 2016 7:35 AM  

Thomas Chittum of the infamous monograph "Civil War II" said if you read one book about the coming troubles it would best be "Transformation of War."

Blogger VD October 17, 2016 7:35 AM  

That was, of course, prior to the publication of The 4GW Handbook....

Blogger Hunsdon October 17, 2016 7:53 AM  

Done, sir, done.

Blogger Erynne October 17, 2016 8:45 AM  

Castalia House releases remind me of the meme with Good Guy Gabe and his Steam summer sales. I can picture the Supreme Dark Lord now, poised with whip in hand towering above some hapless customer whose reading list is lengthening too quickly.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 17, 2016 8:59 AM  

Sorry I should have mentioned that.

I'm going to have to read 4GW Handbook again because I'm pretty sure the establishment is doing things just the opposite as advised.

Anonymous Sam the Man October 17, 2016 11:04 AM  

I am jealous. I recall reading his book on fighting power written in the early 1980s while at university. What a tome. My father who was in the US Army at the end of WWII, found it to be very though provoking, it challenged a lot of the "norms" of American military prowess and opened a whole new way of looking at the subject.

I am jealous as he was one of the authors I would have loved to have dinner with or be on speaking terms with.

Blogger CarpeOro October 17, 2016 11:45 AM  

Similar to John Keegan's Warpaths?

Blogger JimR October 17, 2016 1:52 PM  

slightly OT, the book of the week on the right sidebar has an image of Transformation of War by Creveld, but the link goes to origins of political order

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr October 17, 2016 4:59 PM  

It's a pretty good read. Interesting to see that van Creveld made his chops working for the U.S. DOD as a consultant, not for Israel. As a serious amateur, I'll note that military commanders sift through the sand of history looking for flecks of gold. A good historian does a lot of that panning for the user. Whether you agree with his conclusions or not, van Creveld is a good historian.

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