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The Art of War

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The greatest military textbook of the nineteenth century, this famous analysis of the art of Napoleonic warfare had a profound influence upon the military education of American officers in the decades prior to the Civil War.  
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 15th 2006 by Greenhill Books (first published 1838)
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Steven Peterson
Jul 27, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Baron Antoine Henri de Jomini's "The Art of War" is an early classic on military strategy and tactics. With von Clausewitz, he was one of the more widely read scholars on the subject in the 19th century. His book tends to have an abstract, scholarly air to it that suggests that he was more of an "arm chair" theorist than a man whom he learned much from--Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon may have had general perspectives on warfare, but he was also someone who was able to be improvisational on the ...more
As with Mahan's "Influence of Sea Power," I won't try to review Jomini's actual work (nor am I really fit to do so), beyond noting that Jomini's influence on the American way of war has been vastly underestimated. This particular translation, in fact, was made at West Point in 1862, as America was in the second year of the Civil War, and other renditions of Jomini had been studied by West Pointers before that time.

A curious mixture of dated material and what are likely timeless truths (much lik
Howard Anders
Jun 03, 2013 Howard Anders rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read the "Art of War" for class. The author, a Swiss national, served in Napoleon's Grande Armee. The "Art of War" is essentially Jomini's take on what made Napoleon so successful. Previously, during the Age of Reason, European armies were essentially the discrete playthings of kings, like Louis XIV and Frederick the Great. The French Revolution changed all that; armies became national. Revolutionary France became a "nation in arms" to defend their Revolution against the kings of Europe. Jomini' ...more
Jul 17, 2014 Robotspider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a reason this book has been re-imagined for business, love, life, pet-ownership, etc. etc. If you have half-a-brain, you can draw these conclusions yourself from the translated sources material. Half poetry, half military tactical manual. So relevant today, it's hard to believe it was written 2000+ years ago.
Roger Burk
It's said that every aspiring general in the Civil War had a copy of Jomini in his backpack. He does seem to write from a basis of good sense and much experience on the state of the operational and grand-tactical levels of war in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. However, it will help you reading this book if you are intimately familiar will all European campaigns and battles in the period 1700-1815, for that is where Jomini gets all the examples he mentions. He gives careful conside ...more
I read this as part of my War Studies course way back in 1979. Now have my own copy. It's a bit more practical than Clausewitz, in other words it deals more with the conduct of war than the theory. This makes it seem a little more dated than Clausewitz, but only if you believe the Clausewitzian theory, which is very much based on 'war by the nation-state'. Jomini is the book for the Napoleonic wargamer! Or the student of Napoleonic military strategy and tactics.

I'm still technically reading this
Aug 05, 2016 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard but riveting read. This is THE book that encapsulates the lessons of the Napoleonic wars. The Author was a staff officer under Napoleon, and on Regimental service throughout the period as well. This is the book that every Civil War General had probably read in the French original, but it includes several later other amendments. Lots to digest -but it is MUST-READ for any fan of the period, Military Strategy and Tactics, and especially Wargamers. Not a quick read- but well worth it ...more
Nate Huston
There's a lot of Clausewitz running through Jomini's thoughts. Spends most of Chapter 3 talking about operational level strategy - lines of operation and strategic movement. Valuable, but in the general sense. Lines of operation and the movement of large armies will most likely never be my forte. That said, the definition of various terms such as lines of operation, strategic lines and the function and interplay of bases of operation are a key contribution.
Dec 10, 2015 JJ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was forced to read portions of this for school; if given the choice between finishing this book and being beaten with it, I'd take the beating. The Art of War reads like someone shook all the words out of a cookbook, a radio repair manual, and a History 101 textbook, and then stirred them up before slapping them back on the page. Ouch.
Aug 13, 2010 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only edition of this classic I've read, so I can't compare it to others. The book itself contain much of historical and philosophical interest. I have a feeling I'll be rereading various parts as time goes by.
Robert Palmer
Sep 04, 2013 Robert Palmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-theory
This is one of the great classics of western military thinking. It is one of many books I read during the time that I served as an officer in the U.S. Army.

For more, please see my review of On War by von Clausewitz.
Oct 10, 2016 kerrycat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
parce que . . . la guerre de Sécession et Robert E. Lee, bien sûr.
David Doyle
Jun 03, 2014 David Doyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A have to read for everyone.
Mar 24, 2016 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating instruction on how to lead men in war. Most practical 100 years ago, yet still relevant. Might be a great read prior to reading any civil war or napoleonic war story.
Jul 30, 2009 Jeffry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tough going ... but ya gotta do it I supose.
Rick F.
May 14, 2012 Rick F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly influential even today! Jomini and Clausewitz offer two different looks at the nature of war and how it is fought. Both are important and should be studied together.
Apr 18, 2010 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone in business and management. I have to re-read this book as it is one of the harder reads.
Just started...
Danilo Senese
Dec 26, 2012 Danilo Senese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book. Complex and very detailed, but definitely a MUST READ in Military Strategy.
Lauren Delfing
Lauren Delfing rated it it was amazing
Mar 06, 2015
John Geis
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Roy Horton
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Raj Agrawal
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Aug 10, 2013
Dan rated it it was ok
Aug 29, 2008
Jay Preu
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Apr 14, 2011
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Antoine-Henri de Jomini était un militaire, théoricien de la stratégie militaire et historien.
Il était membre de l'état-major du maréchal Ney dans l'armée de Napoléon, position qu'il quitte (après que le maréchal Berthier lui a refusé une nomination de général) pour devenir général de division dans l'armée russe du tsar Alexandre Ier. Plus tard il devient aide de camp de l'Empereur.
Après la mort d
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“The celebrated maxim of the Romans, not to undertake two great wars at the same time, is so well known and so well appreciated as to spare the necessity of demonstrating its wisdom.

A government maybe compelled to maintain a war against two neighboring states; but it will be extremely unfortunate if it does not find an ally to come to its aid, with a view to its own safety and the maintenance of the political equilibrium. It will seldom be the case that the nations allied against it will have the same interest in the war and will enter into it with all their resources; and if one is only an auxiliary, it will be an ordinary war.”
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