Clausewitz Roundtable: Schedule and Marching Orders

On War

The schedule for posting the Clausewitz Roundtable will be as follows:

Book I, week of January 11, 2009.
Book II, week of January 18, 2009.
Book III, week of January 25, 2009.
Book IV, week of February 1, 2009.
Book V, week of February 8, 2009.
Book VI, week of February 15, 2009.
Book VII, week of February 22, 2009.
Book VIII, week of March 1, 2009.
Concluding comments and analysis, week of March 8, 2009.

Each “Book” above refers to one of the eight “Books” into which On War is divided.

I gave the roundtable participants, who were announced yesterday, their marching orders today. They are reproduced below the fold.


Purpose of the roundtable: The overall goal is for each participant to read On War and to learn something from it, and to convey what he has learned in an interesting and engaging and informative way to the other participants and to our readers. Everything else is to flow from that goal and to be consistent with that goal.

1. Each participant shall read the book.

2. Each participant shall post his thoughts, comments, analysis, and impressions of the book, including its relevance and application today and in the future. The general thrust is to engage the text of the book, to “meet Clausewitz” and then for each participant to communicate what he has learned in that meeting. Application of Clausewitz’s views, as conveyed in On War, to current and future issues of strategy, warfare, politics or any other pertinent subject, is encouraged.

3. There is no absolute prohibition on discussing context, other writers’ views, the history of Clausewitz’s influence, etc. However, the focus should be the text. Each participant shall use his discretion in this regard.

4. The schedule for the roundtable is as stated above. There is no ironclad requirement that each person post each and every week. Nor is there a requirement that each participant only post once per week. However, one post, per week, on the Book which is scheduled for that week, is the guideline. Again, each participant shall exercise discretion in this regard.

I will put up an announcement a few days prior to January 11, 2009. Then from midnight on that date, everyone is free to post per the above schedule.

If other personal or professional commitments come up, that is understood and excused in advance.

If a participant wants to put up some short post pertaining to the roundtable, prior to the formal beginning date, I leave that to each person’s discretion, but request that no one “jump the gun” with any substantive post prior to the first week.

5. Each participant should feel free to respond to issues raised by other participants in their posts, leave comments on posts, crosspost on their own blogs, or otherwise engage in “lateral” dialogue about the book. Such lateral engagement is encouraged. Disagreement and argument of a civil and productive nature is also encouraged.

6. Mechanics. Each post shall have a title “Clausewitz, On War, Book __:” then the title the participant is using for the specific post, after the colon. This will help everyone keep track of where each participant is in the book. Each post shall be labeled with the category “Clausewitz Roundtable”.

Those are your marching orders.

I believe these instructions give everyone scope for creativity, within a consistent framework.

[UPDATE] There is no limit on the length of posts. You may write as much or as little as you like. You may link to whatever you see fit.

However, after approximately the first 200 words, you shall put the rest of the post “below the fold” by using the “MORE” button, which inserts this code: which puts the rest of the post coming after that bit of code off of the front page of the blog. The reader has to click on “Read the rest of this entry” to read the rest of the post.

It is a courtesy to everyone, especially those ChicagoBoyz contributors who are not participating in this roundtable, not to monopolize the front of the blog.

Again, use your discretion. 200 words is not iron clad. Be aware of the purpose of the policy and act accordingly.