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Thirty-Three Stratagies of War, by Robert Greene

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The 33 Strategies of War

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Author:  Robert Greene
Publisher: Penguin Group
Released: January 2006
Type: Print (Hardcover)
Pages: 496
ISBN: 0670034576

The 33 Strategies of War is not as much about war as it is about strategies of dealing in an offensive environment and understanding strategies. Whether you are trying to hone your offense strategy or better your defensive skills to thwart other's attacks, this book provides a series of examples and interpretations to help. Mr. Greene's examples are from a wide variety of people and conditions—Napoleon, Alfred Hitchcock, Sun Tzu, Margaret Thatcher, Shaka the Zulu, Lord Nelson, Franklin Roosevelt, Hannibal, Ulysses S. Grant, and many more.

The book is broken into five parts: Self-Directed Warfare, Organizational (Team) Warfare, Defensive Warfare, Offensive Warfare and Unconventional (Dirty) Warfare. Each part contains a differing number of strategies, each in a chapter. Each chapter has the similar layout. There are multiple examples of political situations (most are battles, but there are plenty of political or business examples) and an accompanying interpretation. There is an occasional "instructional" section followed by examples. All chapters end with a "Reversal" section to give a brief discussion of where the strategy may not apply or a contrary view. Throughout the book Mr. Greene liberally sprinkles quotes from a variety of sources for the reader's interpretation. These are artfully laced in the margins and between sections.

Usage: Unlike many other books in our list, this book is not necessarily read cover-to-cover. It can be used to supply information that may be relevant in specific situations. A suggested method of reading this book is to read the first section in each chapter to provide you with a "feel" for the discussion. Then when you encounter a situation where you need to know more (to improve your defenses or change your strategy) read the entire chapter or all chapters in that part. In only a few places does Mr. Greene assume you have read a previous section, those conditions are rare. Regardless, the examples will be useful, especially if you work in a variety of environments.

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