William Duggan

Napoleon's Glance: The Secret of Strategy

The Prussian military thinker Carl von Clausewitz spent twenty years struggling to pin down the genius of Napoleon. In Chapter Six of what would become On War, he discovered the secret of Napoleon's strategy: Napoleon's glance. Clausewitz calls it "coup d'oeil" meaning a stroke of the eye, or "glance": a sudden insight that shows you what course of action to take. It comes from knowledge of the past: you draw on what worked in other situations, in a new combination that fits the problem at hand. In Napoleon's Glance, William Duggan expertly weaves intellectual history and biography in showing how important and decisive coup d'oeil is in determining victory in war, art, the civil rights movement, third world development, and the battle for women's suffrage in America.

Exact Citation:
Duggan, William. Napoleon's Glance: The Secret of Strategy. New York: Nation Books, 2002.
Place: New York
Date: 2002