In 1924, a French captain who had been taken prisoner in March 1916 and escaped only at the end of the war published a short, trenchant analysis of why Germany lost the war. It reflected not only his intense observation and reading while a prisoner but a careful study afterward. One does not have to know who de Gaulle became to realize what a remarkable intellect was at work. This book is a fascinating study of the relationship between high command and social cohesion, strategic choice and political intrigue. The editor's excellent translation and even better introduction and notes make this lucid and penetrating book particularly worthwhile -- a gift to those interested in one of the most intriguing soldier-statesmen of the past century.