Peter Paret headshot

Peter Paret

Past Faculty
School of Historical Studies

Modern European History


Historical Studies

Peter Paret was a cultural and intellectual historian of the modern historiography of war, the interaction of war and society since the eighteenth century, and the relationship of art, society, and politics. He published two books on contemporary military theory, Guerrillas in the 1960s (with John W. Shy, 1961), and French Revolutionary Warfare from Indochina to Algeria (1964); a study of military innovation, Yorck and the Era of Prussian Reform (1966); a biography, Clausewitz and the State (1976); a study of the clash of tradition and innovation in Napoleonic warfare, The Cognitive Challenge of War (2009); two books on conflict over modernism in modern art, The Berlin Secession (1980) and An Artist against the Third Reich (2003); as well as Art as History: Episodes in the Culture and History of Nineteenth-Century Germany (1988), Imagined Battles: Reflections of War in European Art (1997), and two volumes of essays. He has also edited or coedited ten volumes. His later works include Myth and Modernity: Ernst Barlach’s Drawings on the Nibelungen (2012), written with Helga Thieme, which discusses a modern interpretation of a medieval myth as a document of German history in the 1920s and ’30s, and Clausewitz and His Time (2014), essays in the cultural and intellectual history of thinking about war, an expanded version of which has been translated for publication in Germany. He is co-author and editor, with Hans Delbrück, of a book on Clausewitz’s historical method published as Krieg, Geschichte, Theorie (2018).

Dates at IAS

School of Historical Studies
School of Historical Studies
School of Historical Studies


University of London
University of London
University of California, Berkeley


Appointments: Clausewitz Gesellschaft, Honorary Member 2018; University of Cambridge, Lees Knowles Lecturer 2008; American Philosophical Society, Member of Council 1991–97; London School of Economics and Political Science, Honorary Fellow 1990
Awards: Clausewitz Gesellschaft, Silver Pin of Honor 2019; Pritzker Military Museum & Library, Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing 2017; Federal Republic of Germany, Order of Merit, Great Cross 2013, Cross 2000; The Historical Society, Jack Miller Center Prize 2010; American Philosophical Society, Thomas Jefferson Medal 1993; The Society for Military History, Samuel Eliot Morison Prize 1993, Moncado Prize 1970
Memberships: American Academy of Arts and Sciences; American Philosophical Society


Stanford University
Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History 1977–86, Professor 1969–77
University of California, Davis
Professor 1966–69, Associate Professor 1963–66, Visiting Assistant Professor 1962–63
Center of International Studies, Princeton University
Research Associate