The vitality of the social sciences in the United States has not prevented some of its most influential pioneers from becoming unread classics. A widespread preference for textbook treatment and up-to-theminute analysis plays its part; but if the reader does want to turn to the originals, he often finds that they are not readily available. Complete and scholarly editions of writers who pursued new directions of inquiry are rarer than might be supposed—even in their native language. The situation is particularly bad when it comes to foreign authors. A writer's theories and insights may be transmitted through one or two major works, while the rest of his output is ignored, so that his thoughts are analyzed in isolation, without benefit of the preliminary sketches, correspondence, and marginal studies that would give depth and suppleness to the interpretation. Until recently Rousseau and Tocqueville have been in this position; another case in point is Max Weber, ignorance of whose fertile theorizing has misled more than one commentator. Still another, and extreme, example of intellectual discontinuity is provided by Clausewitz. Much of his work has never been published; even in German most of it is out of print; little of it has ever been translated. The result has been the partial loss of a remarkable historical and theoretical achievement. To the American reader, in particular, Clausewitz rarely means more than the “philosopher of war,” a famous name associated with one or two clichés backed up by little of substance. Repeated attempts to outline Clausewitz's thought, or to present the “essential Clausewitz” in the form of excerpts, have never been of more than doubtful value, if only because his methodology and dialectic are scarcely less interesting than the conclusions they reach. It would be pointless to attempt the impossible once again. On the other hand, a brief survey of Clausewitz's writings and of the literature concerning him may provide a useful introduction to his theories and to the manner in which for the past 150 years they have influenced the study and the waging of war.