In This Review

Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought (third revised edition)
Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought (third revised edition)
By Michael I. Handel
Frank Cass, 2001, 481 pp
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This revised edition of a work by a prolific student of strategy at the U.S. Naval War College is pugnacious but compelling. Handel makes a number of important arguments, most of which center on his contention that the nineteenth-century Prussian theorist Carl von Clausewitz agreed with his Chinese counterpart Sun Tzu, who wrote two millennia earlier on the fundamentals of war. The prose is not always easy, and some readers may find the tables and diagrams unpersuasive, but this book offers a powerful, sustained argument that strategic thought has not advanced "beyond the pre-NeWTOnian stage of development." A sprawling, tough-minded, and provocative work.