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Master the Art of Strategy,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The 33 Strategies of War (Gebundene Ausgabe)
"The 33 Strategies of War" is Robert Greene's latest publication on power play and should be seen as extension to his preceding books on power and seduction. In particular, Greene intends to introduce the reader to the art of strategy. He, however, does not stop there: instead of trying to find another definition of what strategy exactly is, he is interested in the application of particular strategies in all kinds of social situations--ranging from personal relationships to all-out war. In other words, he gives a vivid illustration of the art of strategy. And this approach makes Greene's book attractive and seductive.
In his typical style, Greene first provides a concept of a particular strategy, then illustrates it by referring to historical events, and finally gives an analysis of methods of application. In other words, the reader is not bored by abstract conceptualizations and then left on his own; due to the historical examples one will gain an immediate feeling for and understanding of the discussed strategies. "The 33 Strategies of War" is thus a very useful introduction for beginners of strategy.
Nonetheless, this does not imply that more advanced students of strategy should omit this work and rather refer to original writings like Sun Tzu's "Art of War" or Clausewitz' "On War". "33 Strategies of War" is a useful addition to them (especially to Asian works on strategy) because Greene's expertise in Classics allows him to transcend cultural barriers that often obstruct the understanding of particular concepts of strategy. Thus, the essence of each strategy is revealed, which makes the application in every social context much easier.
Despite the given reasons to have this book, there is also an artistic one: as in the previous works of Greene the arrangement of the texts is beautifully crafted, which improves the readability and satisfies aesthetical demands.
In sum, Greene's "The 33 Strategies of War" rightfully deserves five stars--despite minor errors concerning historical examples. For instance, Napoleon quite well knew Sun Tzu's "Art of War". Thus, maneuver warfare was not independently invented by Napoleon as Greene suggests. However, this is only a minor issue, and it is not lowering the overall quality of Greene's third work.