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The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy (Dover Books on Mathematics)

The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy (Dover Books on Mathematics) [Kindle Edition]

J. D. Williams
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When J. D. Williams wrote this entertaining, witty introduction for the nonscientist, Game Theory was still a somewhat mysterious subject familiar to very few scientists beyond those researchers, like himself, working for the military. Now, over thirty years after its original publication as a Rand Corporation research study, his light-hearted though thoroughly effective primer is the recognized classic introduction to an increasingly applicable discipline. Used by amateurs, professionals, and students throughout the world in the classroom, on the job, and for personal amusement, the book has been through ten printings, and has been translated into at least five languages (including Russian and Japanese).
Revised, updated, and available for the first time in an inexpensive paperback edition, The Compleat Strategyst is a highly entertaining text essential for anyone interested in this provocative and engaging area of modern mathematics. In fully illustrated chapters complete with everyday examples and word problems, Williams offers readers a working understanding of the possible methods for selecting strategies in a variety of situations, simple to complex. With just a basic understanding of arithmetic, anyone can grasp all necessary aspects of two-, three-, four-, and larger strategy games with two or more sets of inimical interests and a limitless array of zero-sum payoffs.
As research and study continues not only in this new discipline but in the related areas of statistics, probability and behavioral science, understanding of games, decision making, and the development of strategies will be increasingly important. In the areas of economics, sociology, politics, and the military, Game Theory is sure to have an even wider impact. For students and amateurs fascinated by Game Theory's implications there is no better, immediately applicable, or more entertaining introduction to the subject than this engaging text by the late J. D. Williams, Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University and a member of the Research Council of The Rand Corporation.


When "The Complete Strategyst" was originally published in 1954, game theory was an esoteric and mysterious subject, familiar only to specialized researchers, particularly in the military. Its popularity today can be traced at least in part to this book, which popularized the subject for amateurs, professionals, and students throughout the world. It has been reprinted numerous times and has been translated into at least five languages, including Russian and Japanese. Now, more than fifty years after its first publication as a RAND research study, and to celebrate RAND's 60th Anniversary, RAND brings this classic work back into print in paperback and digital formats.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 26391 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 268 Seiten
  • Verlag: Dover Publications; Auflage: Revised (14. August 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00A3M1A6S
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #259.471 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining, indeed 13. Februar 2013
Von Damian
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Gentle introduction to the field of Game theory. There are many well-chosen examples given in the text.

The book is a good choice for everyone who can afford to enjoy maths that is not too rigorous or those who want to get a good intuition before diving deeper.
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Von Ein Kunde
The Compleat Strategyst provides an entertaining introduction to the mathematics of everyday decisions, reduced to the form of a game. J.D. Williams, with illustrations by Charles Satterfield, opens up this arcane subject to anyone with the curiosity to read it. A PhD in math is not required!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  18 Rezensionen
59 von 60 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Fun Introduction to Game Theory 19. Dezember 2001
Von Daniel Graf - Veröffentlicht auf
The Compleat Strategyst by J.D. Williams is a wonderful introduction to the ins and outs of game theory. The pace of the primer I found quite reasonable, and the organization is very natural. The Compleat Strategyst begins with the gist (as it should) regarding game matrices and how to interpret them. Williams's discussion then proceeds through 2 x 2 games, 2 x m games, 3 x 3 games, 3 x m games, and so on. Each section contains clever story problems chosen to both re-enforce basic principles and point to potential pitfalls. Also provided are numerous exercises to build the skills necessary to understand game theory.
One of the most enjoyable facets of The Compleat Strategyst is J.D. Williams's entertaining writing style. He seems to know the kind of people reading his book (non-mathematicians who think they might be able to apply game theory to their own work - in my case anyway), and the text is taylored to that audience. In addition, while making the subject matter of game theory accessible strictly through arithmatic, the author provides fair reminders that a great deal of actual mathmatics is being swept beneath the rug.
30 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Witty Intro to Game Theory and Zero-sum Games 10. Juni 2005
Von Cevat Cokol - Veröffentlicht auf
I share the feedback of the other reviewers in that this book is extremely fun to read, very well-written and comprehensively covers (thoroughly teaches the so inclined) a few aspects of game theory. The drawback is that it limits itself, consciously it seems, to zero-sum games played between two players. So after reading this book, you have no excuse for not being able to solve any such games. The narrative, the examples and the exercises take care of this. However, you will learn near nothing about non-zero-sum games, which are in actuality more life-like (hence a probable reason for the complaint of one reviewer who wants more real examples).

Nevertheless, this book is extremely well-written, and truly accomplishes what it aims: giving the reader an appreciation of the basis of game theory and teaching them to solve zero-sum games. And quite a many witty jokes come in extra!
21 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent 4. Juni 2001
Von "alynder" - Veröffentlicht auf
I found this book to be an excellent introduction to game theory that doesn't require much mathamatical background beyond simple algebra. It comes complete with theoretical explainations of the game matrix, problems to help sharpen your skills, and strategic stories that fit with a game matrix, to help show how game theory can be applied to real problems. A definite must for anyone who wants to start learning about game theory.
17 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent, entertaining introductory text 16. Februar 2004
Von J. Mueller - Veröffentlicht auf
This is a superlative introduction to a mathematical concept which, with a lesser writer, could be tedious to learn. Williams includes many entertaining and enjoyable story problems, replete with attractive illustrations. He takes an inherently interesting topic and makes it easy and fun to learn.
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen For mechanics not engineers 7. November 2007
Von E. M. Van Court - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Game theory for the users not for mathematicians.

Write a book on jet engines for engineers and you'll have chapters on the choice of alloy for the turbine blades and casing, formulae for fuel nozzle diameters, air flow and compression ratios, etc. Write a book on jet engines for mechanics, and it might be just as long, but have very different content, with types of failures and their causes, proper tool selections, techniques for cleaning internal components, etc.

"The Compleat Strategyst" is for people who (figuratively) turn wrenches in problems of decision-making. Were it for mathematicians, it would have long, convuluted derivations of axioms, and use sigma notation on 2 out of three pages. As a liberal arts major, it was a relief to find out that calculus appears nowhere in this book, as greek letters mixed in math disturb my digestion, and cause anxiety attacks. You'll need some math, but only what would show up in junior high school pre-algebra. The worst you'll run into are ratios with five or more elements and some long division problems, nothing that requires a recovery period.

What it does have is a first rate explaination of decision matrices for economists, historians, and poli-sci majors, along with other essential topics in game theory. The focus is basic, two-player games with only passing mention to anything other than zero-sum games, but within its limits, it is very good. Use of matrices to support decisions, the value of randomness in situations where strategies are of similar risk-benefit, and multiple strategy games are covered very well. Although basic, enough detail and examples are given, that the concepts can be readily applied to real world decisions. Any student of political science would do well to read this book and do the problems.

The book was first publish in 1954, and the illustrations and prose can be a little 'camp' at times, but younger readers will be mildly amused at the corniness of their elders, and have a brief glimpse of life during the Cold War, and the early post-WW II era.

Within in its limits, Great! But it is limited.

E. M. Van Court
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