The contemporary companion to Sun-tzu's The Art of War, this brilliant distillation of the strategies of war can help us gain mastery in the modern world.
Spanning world civilizations, synthesizing dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts and thousands of years of violent conflict, this is a comprehensive guide to getting ahead and staying there.
Each chapter outlines an approach that will help you win your life's wars. Learn the offensive strategies that require you to maintain the initiative and negotiate from a position of strength, and the defensive strategies that enable you to respond to dangerous situations and avoid situations where winning is impossible.
As in The 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene uses illustrative examples from history: Lyndon Johnson's tenacity, Julius Caesar's decisiveness, Joan Crawford's refusal to compromise, Ted Williams's competitive drive, and the folly and genius of everyone from Napoleon to Margaret Thatcher, Shaka the Zulu to Ulysses S. Grant. Great warriors of the battlefield and the drawing room demonstrate prudence, agility, balance, and calm. The rational, resourceful, and intuitive always defeat the panicked, uncreative, and stupid.
Informed by the most ingenious and effective military principles in war, The 33 Strategies provides all the psychological ammunition you need to overcome patterns of failure and forever gain the upper hand.
As in his bestselling The 48 Laws of Power, Greene puts a modern spin on wisdom that has stood the test of history, only this time his role model is Sun Tzu rather than Machiavelli. The argument is fairly standard: despite our most noble intentions, "aggressive impulses that are impossible to ignore or repress" make military combat a fitting metaphor for getting ahead in life. Greene's advice covers everything from steeling one's mind for battle to specific defensive and offensive tactics--notably, the final section on "dirty" warfare is one of the book's longest. Historical lessons are outlined and interpreted, with amplifying quotations crammed into the margins. Not all of the examples are drawn from the battlefield; in one section, Greene skips nimbly from Lyndon Johnson's tenacity to Julius Caesar's decisiveness, from Joan Crawford's refusal to compromise to Ted Williams's competitive drive. Alfred Hitchcock, he says, embodies "the detached-Buddha tactic" of appearing uninvolved while remaining in total control. The diversity of subject matter compensates for occasional lapses into stilted warriorese ("arm yourself with prudence, and never completely lay down your arms, not even for friends"). For those willing to embrace its martial conceit, Greene's compendium offers inspiration and entertainment in equal measure. (Jan. 23)
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1 . Never Fight the Last War - Read this book
Posted February 27, 2009 by C.I. , Los AngelesThis is an impressive book modeled after the art of war, and written with sage wisdom. Greene, goes at length to setup the strategy, and like a four-move-checkmate gives the reader the punch line with notes to boot. This is as much of a history book as it is a reference manual. Try consulting it during a business or personal decision; I'm sure you'll find you can derive a great strategy for anything you're facing in a short read.
January 28, 2008
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