Edward Luttwak

Edward Luttwak is a strategic adviser to the US government.

Goethe in China

Edward Luttwak, 3 June 2021

Goethe’s​ best-known books are quite portable: both parts of Faust, Italian Journey (which points travellers in the right direction, Sicily), The Sorrows of Young Werther (with which the most disparate readers identify all too easily) and, for those of us who can declaim it in German, the sinister, compelling Erlkönig. But Goethe complete is immense: the ‘collected...


The Suitcase

13 August 2020

Frances Stonor Saunders writes that in September 1940 King Carol of Romania ‘crossed the border into Hungary at Temesvár, which had been Timișoara only a week before’ (LRB, 13 August). In fact, then as now, my mother’s home town remained Timișoara. Hitler awarded only the northern Banat to Hungary, where towns indeed switched from Romanian to Hungarian names. My own Arad also remained Romanian,...

Scuba diving​ was pioneered in Italy and so was the combat frogman and all his equipment, including hand-placed limpet mines and the explosive motor boats and manned torpedoes that the Japanese would copy as suicide weapons – the originals allowed the operators to save themselves, if they were lucky. With a tiny fraction of the Italian navy’s resources, between 1941 and 1943...

Limitless Empire: Very Un-Mongol

Edward Luttwak, 19 March 2020

Now​ that the long-term confrontation between China and an assortment of countries – Australia, Japan, the US, Vietnam and other less committed fellow travellers (including the UK) – is well underway, interest in Chinese doings and undoings in the past as well as the present has further increased.

Demand evokes supply, and Timothy Brook has supplied his Great State, in which...



12 September 2019

Josephine Quinn writes: ‘In 1976 Edward Luttwak in The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire tried to explain [the huge Roman effort in Masada] as a lesson to others contemplating revolt: “The Romans would pursue rebellion even to mountain tops in remote deserts to destroy its last vestiges regardless of cost"’ (LRB, 12 September). ‘If so,’ Quinn continues, ‘other historians have pointed out,...

Rules of Battle: The Byzantine Army

Glen Bowersock, 11 February 2010

A man of deep culture and reading in many languages, Edward Luttwak has at least three major personae – strategist, journalist and scholar. His practical experience of contemporary policy...

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Capitalism without Capital

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 26 May 1994

Even at the end of his new book, it’s not clear where Edward Luttwak is coming from, as they say in his country. He leaves no doubt, however, about where he dreads coming to. Instead of...

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