Hot Best Seller

The 33 Strategies of War (Audiobook)

Availability: Ready to download

Spanning world civilizations, synthesizing dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts and thousands of years of violent conflict, The 33 Strategies of War is a comprehensive guide to the subtle social games of everyday life, informed by the most ingenious and effective military principles in war. Structured in Greene's trademark style, The 33 Strategies of War Spanning world civilizations, synthesizing dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts and thousands of years of violent conflict, The 33 Strategies of War is a comprehensive guide to the subtle social games of everyday life, informed by the most ingenious and effective military principles in war. Structured in Greene's trademark style, The 33 Strategies of War is the I Ching of conflict, the contemporary companion to Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Abundantly illustrated with examples from history, including the folly and genius of everyone from Napoleon to Margaret Thatcher, Shaka the Zulu to Lord Nelson, Hannibal to Ulysses S. Grant, as well as movie moguls, Samurai swordsmen, and diplomats, each of the 33 chapters outlines a strategy that will help you win life's wars. Learn the offensive strategies that require you to maintain the initiative and negotiate from a position of strength, or the defensive strategies designed to help you respond to dangerous situations and avoid unwinnable wars. The great warriors of battlefields and drawing rooms alike demonstrate prudence, agility, balance, and calm - and a keen understanding that the rational, resourceful, and intuitive always defeat the panicked, the uncreative, and the stupid. An indispensable guide, The 33 Strategies of War provides all the psychological ammunition you will need to overcome patterns of failure and forever gain the upper hand.


Compare

Spanning world civilizations, synthesizing dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts and thousands of years of violent conflict, The 33 Strategies of War is a comprehensive guide to the subtle social games of everyday life, informed by the most ingenious and effective military principles in war. Structured in Greene's trademark style, The 33 Strategies of War Spanning world civilizations, synthesizing dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts and thousands of years of violent conflict, The 33 Strategies of War is a comprehensive guide to the subtle social games of everyday life, informed by the most ingenious and effective military principles in war. Structured in Greene's trademark style, The 33 Strategies of War is the I Ching of conflict, the contemporary companion to Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Abundantly illustrated with examples from history, including the folly and genius of everyone from Napoleon to Margaret Thatcher, Shaka the Zulu to Lord Nelson, Hannibal to Ulysses S. Grant, as well as movie moguls, Samurai swordsmen, and diplomats, each of the 33 chapters outlines a strategy that will help you win life's wars. Learn the offensive strategies that require you to maintain the initiative and negotiate from a position of strength, or the defensive strategies designed to help you respond to dangerous situations and avoid unwinnable wars. The great warriors of battlefields and drawing rooms alike demonstrate prudence, agility, balance, and calm - and a keen understanding that the rational, resourceful, and intuitive always defeat the panicked, the uncreative, and the stupid. An indispensable guide, The 33 Strategies of War provides all the psychological ammunition you will need to overcome patterns of failure and forever gain the upper hand.

30 review for The 33 Strategies of War (Audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    This guy writes the scariest books out there. Way scarier than Stephen King. Either that or the funniest. I can't tell. His amorality is so exaggerated it's hard to believe. Evil isn't one supernatural weirdo, evil is everyone everywhere all the time. War in this book is a big game between egomaniacs who don't care if they happen to kill millions of people. The author wants you to be like these crazy jerks in your daily life because otherwise crazy jerks will crush you. If people start accusing This guy writes the scariest books out there. Way scarier than Stephen King. Either that or the funniest. I can't tell. His amorality is so exaggerated it's hard to believe. Evil isn't one supernatural weirdo, evil is everyone everywhere all the time. War in this book is a big game between egomaniacs who don't care if they happen to kill millions of people. The author wants you to be like these crazy jerks in your daily life because otherwise crazy jerks will crush you. If people start accusing you of being immoral because you are, you shouldn't feel bad because they are all immoral liars too. Sociopaths are real and they see the world this way; "homo homini lupus" (man is a wolf to man) has been their excuse for thousands of years for all the evil they do. But why is the solution for everyone to be a wolf? Sociopaths are only 4% of the population! According to the Milgram experiments, most people are sheep and will obey the wolves or whoever is giving the orders, but where are the sheepdogs and shepherds? Robert Greene would say they should read his books. Because you know the wolves do, and they are coming to eat you. Scary. The Sociopath Next Door

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lady Jane

    In 33 Strategies of War, Robert Greene turns military combat into an appropriate metaphor for life in the so-called civilized world. The author introduces the book with a warning to not be deceived by the political correctness and democratic values that the modern world promotes, because beneath the splendor of the king’s court is nothing more than human nature broiling in its most aggressive essence, and rather vented through covert, subtle, and socially accepted ways. The civilized world is in In 33 Strategies of War, Robert Greene turns military combat into an appropriate metaphor for life in the so-called civilized world. The author introduces the book with a warning to not be deceived by the political correctness and democratic values that the modern world promotes, because beneath the splendor of the king’s court is nothing more than human nature broiling in its most aggressive essence, and rather vented through covert, subtle, and socially accepted ways. The civilized world is inherently duplicitous, with an ever widening gap between our ideals and reality. This is not because humans are bad people, according to Greene, but rather because we cannot help it. As I always say, nature is simply politically incorrect. Instead of mortals struggling against nature in a hopeless fight, Greene suggests that we should simply understand our nature, accept it, and deal with it in strategically mature ways. From the Preface: “We live in a culture that promotes democratic values of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with other people. We are taught early in life that those who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle and not-so-subtle ways—through books on how to be successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the world present to the public; through notions of correctness that saturate the public space. The problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for peace and we are not at all prepared for what confronts us in the real world—war. This war exists on several levels. Most obviously, we have our rivals on the other side. The world has become increasingly competitive and nasty. In politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More troubling and complex, however, are the battles we face with those who are supposedly on our side. There are those who outwardly play the team game, who act very friendly and agreeable, but who sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to spot, play subtle games of passive aggression, offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a secret weapon. On the surface everything seems peaceful enough, but just below it, is every man and woman for him or herself, this dynamic infecting even families and relationships. The culture may deny this reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it and feel it, in our battle scars.” It is essential to learn the strategies and mind games of the adept, in civilized circumstances more than anywhere else, in order to best defend oneself from the snares of enemies and frenemies alike. ”What we need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to deal with conflict and the daily battles we face,” explains Greene. Instead of pathologizing typically human characteristics or passing moralistic judgments, he simply presents the behaviors observed in the species throughout centuries of study, and provides insight on how to deal with attacks and obstacles accordingly. In the most primitive state, everything humans do can be reduced to self-interest, and in this sense life is merely a major chess tournament in which everyone seeks to win. The problem is that people’s self-interest is not always compatible with the self-interest of others, and therein lies the root of all war. That is precisely where 33 Strategies of War comes in handy. The Book The 33 strategies are divided into four sections: 1) Self Directed Warfare, 2) Organizational (Team) Warfare, 3) Defensive Warfare, and 4) Offensive Warfare. The first section is perhaps my favorite because it focuses on the only person and thing one can control—oneself, one’s actions, and one’s perspective. This type of philosophy reminds me very much of another favorite work of mine, The Enchiridion by Epictetus. Often one’s greatest battles originate from one’s fallacies and poor way of dealing with the winds of life, so it is refreshing to read a book that reminds us of personal accountability in conflict, instead of instilling a victim mentality and blaming everyone else. Remember, one of the best aspects about Greenian literature is that there is never a good and bad—things are simply amoral, and a master chess player ought to first master himself. The second section is excellent too because it provides tips on how to deal with the “Groupthink” philosophy that has plagued the modern workplace. This section seems to be directed at those in positions of power for it gives plenty of insight as to how authority figures think. These pages are essential reading for anybody who has to work for a master in a group, for it reveals the tricks masters apply to lead happy, obedient masses. As a member of the subordinate working class, I greatly appreciate this treasure of knowledge. The third section, which deals with defensive warfare, fascinates me because it has some of the most useful tips in strategies against clandestine attacks from the other chess players of life whose interests just do not happen to correspond with ours, or those who strike at us for sheer entertainment. The fourth section dealing with offensive warfare is also useful to keep around in the back of one’s mind even if one never plans to engage in any type of strike. For let us remember the famous Aesop fable, “The Wild Boar and the Fox:” ”A wild boar was engaged in whetting his tusks upon the trunk of a tree in the forest when a fox came by and, seeing what he was at, said to him, ‘Why are you doing that, pray? The huntsmen are not out today, and there are no other dangers at hand that I can see.’ ‘True, my friend,’ replied the boar, ‘but the instant my life is in danger I shall need to use my tusks. There’ll be no time to sharpen them then.’” Robert Greene uses for examples some of the most skillful men in the arts of strategic war, such as Sun Tzu, Julius Caesar, Hernan Cortez, and Napoleon Bonaparte; he also presents examples from psychological wars outside the battlefield, and shares stories about Alfred Hitchcock and Mae West as examples. Also, the author quotes some of the most cunning thinkers in the art of strategy, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Niccolo Machiavelli, Musashi Miyamoto, and Saul Alinsky. Greene makes the history lessons enjoyable by giving the strategies a modern twist through hypothetical examples on how they can apply to the reader in modern day situations in the modern world’s battlefields: the workplace, social gatherings, and even the family setting. Nobody escapes the author’s frighteningly clear microscope, which makes his candid work irresistibly appealing in a world that is shrouded by the tawdry twenty-five cent jewelry of politeness and political correctness. The author speaks in the second person’s point of view, which makes readers feel as if they are having a conversation with Athena herself, the goddess of wisdom and war strategy. In fact, the book is dedicated to Athena, as well as to Napoleon, Sun-tzu, and the author’s charming little feline by the name of Brutus. Allow me to culminate with an amazing quote from this amazing book: “We humans have a particular limitation to our reasoning powers that causes us endless problems: when we are thinking about someone or about something that has happened to us, we generally opt for the simplest, most easily digestible interpretation. An acquaintance is either good or bad, nice or mean, his intentions noble or nefarious; an event is positive or negative, beneficial or harmful; we are happy or sad. The truth is that nothing in life is ever so simple. People are invariably a mix of good and bad qualities, strengths and weaknesses. Their intentions in doing something can be helpful and harmful to us at the same time, a result of their ambivalent feelings toward us. Even the most positive event has a downside. And we often feel happy and sad at the same time. Reducing things to simpler terms makes them easier for us to handle, but because it is not related to reality, it also means we are constantly misunderstanding and misreading. It would be of infinite benefit for us to allow more nuances and ambiguity into our judgments of people and events” (613).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    Excellent if you love History - in particular famous figures, battles, and wars. He humanizes historical people/events in a way that makes what could be dense and overwhelming reading very exciting.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Kaufman

    I’d like to give this a 3.5 stars, please. The good: - Lots of illustrative stories. (After seeing 300, though, I admit to rushing home and being annoyed I couldn’t find anything…especially since I knew what [wouldn’t] happen to Xerxes because I was reading this at the time.) - A good guide to different approaches to strategy and war. The bad: - Usually when people say a book is too long, I assume they’re used to reading magazine articles and are kind of lazy. (I know, that’s awful.) With this, thoug I’d like to give this a 3.5 stars, please. The good: - Lots of illustrative stories. (After seeing 300, though, I admit to rushing home and being annoyed I couldn’t find anything…especially since I knew what [wouldn’t] happen to Xerxes because I was reading this at the time.) - A good guide to different approaches to strategy and war. The bad: - Usually when people say a book is too long, I assume they’re used to reading magazine articles and are kind of lazy. (I know, that’s awful.) With this, though, I started to feel like he got paid more to write longer chapters. I started seeing the same stories in different parts of the book, and things-are-blending-together redundancy is a cardinal sin in my book. I like clean and conscise. when I get 1/4 through the book and am seeing the same stories, I’m wondering how often I’m going to read them before I’m done. - Greene’s books tend to be about getting something. In the right context, that’s okay with me, but I have read few books that feel so manipulative as his. (That includes the Seduction and Power books. Do his techniques work in the right hands? Absolutely. Is there danger in hollowing yourself out enough to use these things without feeling bad about those you’re affecting? Absolutely!) Referent power is when people do things because they like you and want to be like you, and Greene explains why this is important and “how” to do it…unfortunately, this isn’t one of those things that’s easy to fake. - There’s not a lot of honor in many of the approaches. Granted, it’s war, and it works, but if you have issues with stabbing people in the back (sometimes literally), you will have issues with some of the approaches. As you read, you’ll see more and more value to stabbing people in the back…but I go back to my other points. Do you really want to be that cold? (BTW, I did read this as research of sorts rather than to Go to War with someone or something. So maybe I wasn’t feeling bitter enough.) I read The Art of War after this, because it’s referenced so much I started to wonder why I hadn’t just read that instead. The translation I read, at least, has the feel of “we do what is necessary,” rather than “we will rip their heads off and enjoy doing it, who needs friends you can’t trust them anyhow, mwah ha ha ha.” - Even if you think the rest of my remarks are a little silly, this one may be the most important con. Many of the 33 strategies contradict themselves. There is an approach for everything, and any good warrior realizes that you play to the situation, but that is an art form rather than a connect-the-dots. If you’re a critical thinker who can see why you would use one strategy in one situation and the opposite (which may actually be called a bad move in another chapter) will get a lot more out of this than someone who’s looking for The Answers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    "The 33 Strategies of War" basically assumes you're a member of the fucking Borgias family--everyone you meet is an enemy or a stragtegic friend, and both groups will likely undermine you. I feel like Robert Greene has read way too much Machiavelli, and now sees his entire life in those terms. While I found the Game of Thronesy political/strategic angle entertaining, it becomes wearisome after 200 pages or so. Green's prose isn't awful, but he's very repetitive. On the plus side, he throws in a "The 33 Strategies of War" basically assumes you're a member of the fucking Borgias family--everyone you meet is an enemy or a stragtegic friend, and both groups will likely undermine you. I feel like Robert Greene has read way too much Machiavelli, and now sees his entire life in those terms. While I found the Game of Thronesy political/strategic angle entertaining, it becomes wearisome after 200 pages or so. Green's prose isn't awful, but he's very repetitive. On the plus side, he throws in a lot of interesting military history to illustrate his "principles". Read this if you're a high-powered exec. looking for a book to justify your amoral/psychopathic worldview.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This book is lousy. I was constantly amazed at the author's ability to say absolutely nothing through so much of the book. If you like pseudo-philosophical catch phrases like "If you want to win a battle, fight your battle to win" Ok, I just made that up, but it would have gone along fine in the book. It's filled with all these pithy says that really don't inform the reader of anything. Its one saving grace are the stories interspersed to highlight the points Greene is making. Many of them are go This book is lousy. I was constantly amazed at the author's ability to say absolutely nothing through so much of the book. If you like pseudo-philosophical catch phrases like "If you want to win a battle, fight your battle to win" Ok, I just made that up, but it would have gone along fine in the book. It's filled with all these pithy says that really don't inform the reader of anything. Its one saving grace are the stories interspersed to highlight the points Greene is making. Many of them are good, even the ones I already knew from paying attention in history class (or reading them in other history books). The problem is while about half of them are actually about war, the other half are about politicians, Hollywood moguls, and other people whom the author deems "strategic". His point (in the preface, and throughout the book) is that each of us fight war even though most of us aren't soldiers, we face in everyday life situations which we need to have a plan of attack or our enemies will destroy us. The glaring thing is virtually none of the politicians he focuses on are conservative (he does talk about Eisenhower, but only as a general; and Margaret Thatcher), he spends an inordinate amount of time telling the reader how smart Roosevelt and Clinton were. I'm sorry I tend to notice things which are lop-sided politically. But he talks about Nazi tactics alongside allied tactics, Napoleonic tactics alongside Horatio Nelson where is the bipartisan spirit? Either talk about all the politicians or leave modern politics out of it. The book would have been much better if it was all stories and only organized into the 33 strategies with a one sentence introduction to each strategy. But to be fair, it's a self help book, and I typically can't read self help books because of all the pithy pseudo-psych stuff in them (as described in the first paragraph). They are either unbearably vague or glaringly obvious and sometimes both. Also to be fair, I didn't finish the book. I got to about strategy 19 before I just gave up. Who knows, maybe he was saving the Reagan and Bush stories for the later strategies. I guess I'll never know.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ben Love

    I’m beginning to learn that any book by Robert Greene is a treat. The theme seems to be as follows: lots of attention-worthy historical references, crystal clear deductions from analysis, cross examination of derived points and something to take away. All wrapped up in a bow with no fluff, zero me-me-me and enough solid information to keep you thinking for at least the year after you read the book. The topic for this Robert Greene outing: strategy. The last of his works I read were on seduction, I’m beginning to learn that any book by Robert Greene is a treat. The theme seems to be as follows: lots of attention-worthy historical references, crystal clear deductions from analysis, cross examination of derived points and something to take away. All wrapped up in a bow with no fluff, zero me-me-me and enough solid information to keep you thinking for at least the year after you read the book. The topic for this Robert Greene outing: strategy. The last of his works I read were on seduction, power (definitely his defining work) and the 50 cent collaboration 50th Law. When first pulling together the mobile strategy for the company I’m with, it never crossed my mind to research military strategy. After reading 33 Strategies of War, I am kicking myself that I didn’t. Though, this book is a one-stop compendium on the topic. It’s unlikely you’re going to find such a collection anywhere else. The book is thought-provoking and challenging and the topics/laws have applicability in modern life as much as ancient wars. The historian slants do not bore but make for fascinating context and paint visuals for remembering. To some though, it may come across as somewhat dark and sinister in places… but sadly that is more of a reflection on past and present actions of a messed up human race than specific to the narrative tone of the book. Is this as punchy as 48 Laws of Power? Actually yes, though each book handles a different theme in their respectively appropriate ways. If strategy (true grand strategy, not US business next quarter’s keep shareholders happy “strategy”) is something you need to be doing in your day job, devour this book for both the background and ignition for your own strategic planning. In this line of non-fiction, it is a read well worthy of your attention and interest.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nada

    This is a book to study, not to read. The magical combo of Robert Greene, with all the branches of the human sciences served together in the same platter. For me, it is such a delight. The only problem with the book is that with such heavy advice on winning over others, one cannot help but project the strategies and stories included within them on the people in one's circle. Every time I picked the book, an image of someone would pop to my mind and be today's enemy. Not to mention how I kept bera This is a book to study, not to read. The magical combo of Robert Greene, with all the branches of the human sciences served together in the same platter. For me, it is such a delight. The only problem with the book is that with such heavy advice on winning over others, one cannot help but project the strategies and stories included within them on the people in one's circle. Every time I picked the book, an image of someone would pop to my mind and be today's enemy. Not to mention how I kept berating myself for being such a pacifist while there is so much war going around! I admit that this book changed a part of me forever, not necessarily for the more combative, but at least for the more cautious. A book to be kept in your home library and be read and counseled

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    The 33 Strategies of War picks up where the 48 Laws of Power left off. Greene continues his exploration of historical figures, turning his attention to the more focused ways to fight a conflict, weather that be an actual war or a business meeting. The book is split into 5 sections, each dealing with a different type of conflict or method of fighting a conflict, from fighting defensively to dirty fighting favored by revolutionaries. He uses the same style as in the 48 Laws where he retells the hi The 33 Strategies of War picks up where the 48 Laws of Power left off. Greene continues his exploration of historical figures, turning his attention to the more focused ways to fight a conflict, weather that be an actual war or a business meeting. The book is split into 5 sections, each dealing with a different type of conflict or method of fighting a conflict, from fighting defensively to dirty fighting favored by revolutionaries. He uses the same style as in the 48 Laws where he retells the history of how a figure, such as Napoleon or Henry Kissenger fought a conflict. After telling the story, he distills the wisdom of what was done, how it was done and why it was the wisest course of action given the circumstances. Then, he explores where the people in the story weren't successful and why they failed. As I said before regarding the 48 Laws, this is one of those books I notonly wish I had read as a child, but would highly recommend to anyone with any level of ambition or love of history.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Credits to this book for teaching me everything that I need to know about strategy and survival. Brilliantly done!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Psychopathy 101. Self help book for managers, as vapid as any other self help book. Better researched than most but that does not translate into value.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Debjit Sengupta

    I was first introduced to Robert Greene’s work when I laid my hands on his debut book- “48 laws of power”. On the surface, it was out and out mean and nasty. When you dig deeper, you find it much more practical and realistic. The book shakes you up and challenges your virtues. The experience took me to another book- “Mastery” from the same author. The treatment was however much lighter in comparison. In both the books, there are numerous real examples to substantiate his points. His view points I was first introduced to Robert Greene’s work when I laid my hands on his debut book- “48 laws of power”. On the surface, it was out and out mean and nasty. When you dig deeper, you find it much more practical and realistic. The book shakes you up and challenges your virtues. The experience took me to another book- “Mastery” from the same author. The treatment was however much lighter in comparison. In both the books, there are numerous real examples to substantiate his points. His view points and precepts looks believable. The experience has been so overwhelming and enriching that I have become his fan and all his remaining books are in my wish list. During our school days, we were taught by our teachers and parents about peaceful co-existence by being nice, sincere and honest. Is the world so rosy and hunky-dory? Are we trained for actual reality? The answer is no. We are prepared for peace but not trained for what confronts us in the real world and that is war, a very complicated and conundrum war. Not everything goes on expected line in this nasty and competitive world. Sometime life throws us in a muddle. What is the book all about? As far as the subject matter goes it’s similar to his earlier books. He treats every aspect of life as a conflict and suggests means to deal with them. Warfare used to be initially between tribes. It was brutal and violence. As these tribes expanded and evolved into state, strategy came into play. A war has many hidden and unforeseen costs. So waging it blindly can lead to mayhem and even self-destruction, irrespective of who wins the war. So war is fought strategically and rationally. War is not restricted militarily but has extended to political and social front as well. Enemies no longer appear upfront always but have learned to go underground and destroy indirectly. The irony is that enemies are not always on other side but can be supposedly on our side too. They may be friendly and agreeable but slyly they can sabotage us. The society as a whole has failed to live up to the ideal of peace, co-operation and selfishness. We are faced with daily battles. The book provides the ways to tackle, difficult situations and elusive warriors through skillful and intelligent maneuver. The book contains distilled, refined and timeless wisdom on principles of warfare, recorded in dossiers. The author classifies the book into five sections depending upon the types of warfare. These are self-directed warfare, organizational warfare, defensive warfare, offensive warfare and dirty warfare. Each chapter is illustrated with historical examples, not only from military but sports, culture, politics and business as well. The book is replete with innumerable examples. The exemplar used were of greatest generals like Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Hannibal, Erwin Rommel, Vo Nguyen and Genghis Khan. It also includes works of great strategies like Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi and T.E. Lawrence. Let’s pick up and discuss few of the strategies. In the mid-15th century, when Queen Elizabeth ascended throne, England was troubled by civil war and financial mess. To add to her woes, she was confronted with embittered and powerful enemies like France and Spain. To stabilize domestic situations, she made steps to improve trade and commerce. King of Spain, Philip II was planning to invade England with Spanish armada consisting of 128 ships. On the contrary, the queen dreaded war because maintaining a huge army and other hidden costs are likely to have devastating effect on country’s economy. Some of the caveats suggested that war was inevitable but she never provoked Philip II in order to buy time. Spain empire was expanding in the new world which made it powerful. To maintain profit, Philip II relied on large fleet of ships that he paid from huge loans from Italian bankers. His credit with bank was the safe passage for ships bringing gold from new world. The queen secretly engaged her greatest captain Sir Francis Drake, who appeared to the outside world as a pirate. He began to capture treasure ships. With each capture, the interest on Philip II’s loan increased. The armada was being built for invasion. Not only it consumed enormous finances but it’s launch was delayed due to capture of treasure ships. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth spent her meagre resources on building a sophisticated spy network. This kept her informed about King Philip’s every move. Instead of taking on Spanish head on, her fleet of mobile ships sank Armada supply line and lit fire on some of the ships. This created total chaos and it had a devastating effect on Spanish morale and discipline. By the time Armada returned to Spain, it had lost forty-four ships. This is considered as one of the most cost effective victory by a second rate nation on a power house. Elizabeth’s intention all along was to exhaust Philip’s financial resources compelling him to abandon his designs on England altogether. It’s fool-hardy to admonish and take on people who are much more aggressive and crafty than you. In such scenario, you are going to lose. Instead of threatening them openly, take an indirect route. German army used a new form of warfare during World War-II. It was called blitzkrieg. They advanced with an incredible speed which culminated into devastating victory over France and other nations. The speed completely crippled nonplussed Allied forces and they could not react on time. By the time they thought of a counterstrategy the prevailing conditions have changed. The Germans were always one step ahead. People usually are indecisive and cautious. Striking first with speed can unnerve them. When you make swift moves, it’s likely to make others emotional, indecisive and prone to error. It completely throws them off guard. The action can provide you unimaginable momentum. In early 1930, there was a civil war between Chinese communists led by Mao Tse-sung and Nationalists. Mao campaign involved guerilla tactics with peasant revolution as a backdrop. Within the Communist party, Soviet influenced intellectuals advocated taking Nationalists upfront just like Bolsheviks did in Soviet Union. They considered guerilla warfare as a sign of timidity and peasant revolution as backward. These people known as 28B isolated Mao and stripped him of power. The nationalist led by Chiang Kai-Shek launched a campaign to kill every single communist and in their hunt, they captured cities after cities. The nationalists were more in number and better equipped. The open confrontation with the Nationalists led to killing of many communists. Still some managed to break out of the Nationalist encirclement and continued the fight. Mao joined them and questioned 28B futile strategy. He again emerged from obscurity and became de-facto leader of the party. He again spoke of creating a Chinese revolution based on peasantry. To accomplish that they needed time and freedom from Nationalist’s attack. They kept retreating to safer places until other circumstances compelled the Nationalists to drop their current campaign. Finally, in 1949, the Communists defeated the Nationalists and exiled them from mainland China. Retreating from a strong enemy is not a sign of weakness. It’s wise to buy time to recover, evaluate and taking your next course of action. Afghanistan is a nation which was rich in natural gas and other minerals. It also had ports on the Indian ocean. Soviet Union were training their army, built highway connecting their mainland with Afghanistan and had been trying to modernize the backward nation. The secret objective was however to make Afghanistan their satellite state. This continued for two decades after which during mid-1970, Islamic fundamentalism influence begin to grow and politically they were becoming a force. Soviet Union could sense two dangers. First, fundamentalists would come to power and cut off ties with them. Second, fundamentalist unrest may spread to Soviet Union Islamic dominated southern region. Soviet Union secretly staged a coup and bought Afghanistan Communist to power. They were sure that Afghanis would greatly benefit from modernism and embrace socialism. As it turned out the solution was more lateral in nature. However, mujahedeen power was growing in leaps and bound. To counter them, Soviet Union had sent forces to Afghanistan. The Unites States saw an opportunity to settle old score with their bete-noire and astutely started sending materials and money to mujahedeen. The mujahedeen bedeviled Soviet forces and always on the qui vive for conflict. The stubborn resistance by mujahedeen continued too long to Soviet Union’s liking. The ramification was that it drained Soviet Union both psychologically and financially. It ended in a major fiasco for Soviet Union. One should know the art when to stop. If it’s unnecessarily stretched, it’s not only going to create bitter enemies but also keeps you entangled in future conflicts. The objective is not only winning a war but winning it in a right manner which sets you up for next round of conflict. The wisdom of strategy says that avoid all conflicts where there are no realistic exits. The Prussian king Frederick the Great during his times introduced ingenious and new ideas, strategies and tactics in his warfare that provided immense success. His future generations were following his methods as precepts. After sometimes, it became stale. The French military tacticians came up with better and radical new ideas which was implemented by Napoleon when he crushed the Prussians in the battle of Jena-Auerstadt. Napoleon’s words and action became an axiom and he seems to be infallible. Later the Prussians studied Napoleon success, adapted his best practices with much more refinement. Later this played a key role in contributing to Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. People expect your behavior to follow known patterns. Your earlier behavior becomes a precedent. Once your behavior conforms to unpredictability, it upset their calculations. An unorthodox strategy has a novelty factor, which may surprise your opponent. If repeated, the strategy becomes conventional and at times delusional in nature. There is a debate whether we human being are rational or emotional creatures. We would like to call ourselves rational creature because it sounds good. We love to maintain that illusion. We are calm, controlled and composed when we follow conventional daily routines. This is a sign of rationality. Once the routine is disturbed and circumstances place us in adverse condition, we react to pressure. We become debilitate, impatient and confused. The rationality goes for a toss and our emotional side comes to the forefront. We have inscrutable expressions. In real life when we are under attack our responses are that of anger, betrayal and confusion. In hours of adversity, our mind is weaker than our emotions. This is precisely the time when we need strength and presence of mind. How can we make our mind stronger? We can do it by controlling our emotions with discipline and mental toughness, and developing cognitive attributes. The review here includes only five strategies. Even mentioning every strategies is beyond the scope of the book. The author has beautifully placed each strategy in a modern and personal context. He has done so by reaching into rich treasure trove of history. He has a penchant for presenting knotty issues with his trademark sublime touch. This book is highly recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

    I watched this man's interview by Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory and thought he'd be an interesting read. Bought the book the next day. Oh, how my wallet hurts. I dislike this book so much, for the first time in my life I just can't even muster the energy to finish this cynical and very disturbing book on the most retrograde way to approach life I've ever seen. Sad, sad book. I officially read half. Quite literally, half of what felt like the thickest book in the history of books. I guess some peop I watched this man's interview by Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory and thought he'd be an interesting read. Bought the book the next day. Oh, how my wallet hurts. I dislike this book so much, for the first time in my life I just can't even muster the energy to finish this cynical and very disturbing book on the most retrograde way to approach life I've ever seen. Sad, sad book. I officially read half. Quite literally, half of what felt like the thickest book in the history of books. I guess some people could appreciate this book's content, and as a business woman I thought it'd be an interesting approach to business and reality, and at first I focused on trying to pinpoint consciously what the author meant and how to contextualize it usefully (and positively) in everyday life. But the author never really takes any concept down to reality in essence. Not to me. He just keeps mentioning how in real life you can destroy your "enemy" and make them fail and succumb to their own mistakes. I think this book is the saddest reflection of the ego complex that makes the world function so poorly and it's just setting us back instead of moving us forward in a positive and empowering way. That being said, at some point he brings up interesting concepts with things different than literal war and enemy talk, like mentioning Hitchcock's strategies for filmmaking and some other more applicable strategies when he brings up political campaigns in the US, that focused more on self empowerment and situation handling rather than just some "enemy" destroying crap. Despite that, the antagonistic, negative bits are more frequent than the empowering, interesting ones, so after a while it became quite an effort just to read my way to the half of this book. This is a very cynical, ego-centered, power maniac, fear based book in general and I just can't stand it. If I ever muster the courage to finish the last half, I will and may even update the review. But I'm at a point where the closest next chapter has a headline that reads something like, "the war of deceit". So, how about, maybe just... No.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abhishek

    33 Strategies of War is written by Robert Greene who is a master psychologist, who knows people and circumstances inside out. His research goes to about 3000 years, where the art of war originated. He breaks down the different strategies used by the people in power(mostly monarchs and dictators). He goes deep into the concepts of winning a war, and breaks them down into Historical Examples showing how the particular strategy will provide benefits. I agree, it is hard to implement this strategies 33 Strategies of War is written by Robert Greene who is a master psychologist, who knows people and circumstances inside out. His research goes to about 3000 years, where the art of war originated. He breaks down the different strategies used by the people in power(mostly monarchs and dictators). He goes deep into the concepts of winning a war, and breaks them down into Historical Examples showing how the particular strategy will provide benefits. I agree, it is hard to implement this strategies but what is more important about them is the way he puts them forward. The whole book is 1140 pages and is a must read for people going into politics as it gives you a huge advantage over your competitors who are still pretty backward in their psychology.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Goldsmith

    Very good book, business is business. We want to all think that in an organization we are all a team. Unfortunately there are many out there that don’t care about you, the organization. They only care about what’s in it for them, or stepping on people along the way. You must learn the tools to protect yourself and the organization you care so dearly about. The tools you learn can only be used for good, or it will backfire.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paulo

    Meh... I was looking for a good book on military strategies as I like history and a lot of history is about war, however I simply didn't find it here. It has some glimpses of good historical situations that serve to illustrate tactics but then he ruins it with loads of pseudo-psychology self help bull shit... Meh... I was looking for a good book on military strategies as I like history and a lot of history is about war, however I simply didn't find it here. It has some glimpses of good historical situations that serve to illustrate tactics but then he ruins it with loads of pseudo-psychology self help bull shit...

  17. 5 out of 5

    I.F. Adams

    An strange mix of history, tactics, and self-help that all collapses into a pseudo-intellectual pile of garbage. Tries too hard to connect the dots between personal life and war settings.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    It's a lovely sunny afternoon, and I'm sitting here in my flat near the window enjoying the flair and pleasant atmosphere!!! I'm asking myself how to review such an awesome book as this.... Let me begin by saying that this indeed is one of the most important books I have ever read in my entire life so far. In my humble opinion it should become a compulsory read for everyone who wants to cope successfully with the strains and pressures which modern life demands from all of us!!! What you actually have It's a lovely sunny afternoon, and I'm sitting here in my flat near the window enjoying the flair and pleasant atmosphere!!! I'm asking myself how to review such an awesome book as this.... Let me begin by saying that this indeed is one of the most important books I have ever read in my entire life so far. In my humble opinion it should become a compulsory read for everyone who wants to cope successfully with the strains and pressures which modern life demands from all of us!!! What you actually have in your hands with"the 33 strategies of war" by Robert Greene is an elaborate and thoroughly researched piece of work embracing the techniques which will put you on your way by the yellow brick road to the emerald city !!! What I mean by this is,"the 33 strategies of war" will indeed turn out to be a great help in your way of success and victory against the intrigues and dealings you'll have ever to suffer with.... My experience during my readings has been kind of an eye opener!!! Enlightened and full of handy and helpful quotations and thoughts from a variety of sources.... Let me say that the book for himself is really pretty good elaborate, and with letters in an comfortable size which will make it easy to read for you, handsome too, with different colors to highlights important aspects. This book starts from the premise that life himself is warfare, and you must be prepare to be able to defend yourself against attacks.... Here you have defensive and offensive warfare strategies, with explanations about unconventional (dirty) warfare, and the meaning of self-directed warfare. Particularly the passive-aggression strategy has capture my full attention!!! Yes, five stars and my full recommendation..... Dean:)

  19. 4 out of 5

    NON

    Mr. Greene writes the realist s*** ever. He never fails to surprise me and INTEREST me. This book is very strategic and it's not really about waging wars, it's more like strategies to use whether in your business or your life to be in control and know how to act. Powerful tips and it takes a lot of nerves and courage to be applied in one's life. It's excellent especially to those who love History. He's so good in taking us back in time and paint the picture clear for us in a very smart way. Exciti Mr. Greene writes the realist s*** ever. He never fails to surprise me and INTEREST me. This book is very strategic and it's not really about waging wars, it's more like strategies to use whether in your business or your life to be in control and know how to act. Powerful tips and it takes a lot of nerves and courage to be applied in one's life. It's excellent especially to those who love History. He's so good in taking us back in time and paint the picture clear for us in a very smart way. Exciting, informative and brilliant.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suellen

    This is by far one of the best, most enlightening books I have ever read. The strategies presented resonate with the business world as well as personal endeavors. Be prepared though because it takes time and a lot of thought to absorb it all. This makes it one of the most challenging books I have ever read as well but well worth every minute. I am very grateful for the recommendation of this book as well as "The 48 Laws of Power"...both have made a huge impact! thank you JD This is by far one of the best, most enlightening books I have ever read. The strategies presented resonate with the business world as well as personal endeavors. Be prepared though because it takes time and a lot of thought to absorb it all. This makes it one of the most challenging books I have ever read as well but well worth every minute. I am very grateful for the recommendation of this book as well as "The 48 Laws of Power"...both have made a huge impact! thank you JD

  21. 4 out of 5

    R.

    Simply one of the best books on the subject that has been written. The way that Greene flawlessly moves between teaching and giving actual historical examples of the events is perfect. This book is a must read for anyone in business, the military, or politics.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura Noggle

    Forever a Robert Greene fangirl, I love his style of incorporating history with psychological tidbits. One of these days, I will complete my physical collection of all his most popular books—but at least I've now read them all. My favorites, in descending order: The 48 Laws of Power The Laws of Human Nature The 33 Strategies of War Mastery The Art of Seduction I hope to reread them all at some point as well, as there is so much to take from them even if they need taken with a grain of salt. Some stando Forever a Robert Greene fangirl, I love his style of incorporating history with psychological tidbits. One of these days, I will complete my physical collection of all his most popular books—but at least I've now read them all. My favorites, in descending order: The 48 Laws of Power The Laws of Human Nature The 33 Strategies of War Mastery The Art of Seduction I hope to reread them all at some point as well, as there is so much to take from them even if they need taken with a grain of salt. Some standout quotes from The 33 Strategies of War: “Events in life mean nothing if you do not reflect on them in a deep way, and ideas from books are pointless if they have no application to life as you live it.” “Actually, your past successes are your biggest obstacle: every battle, every war, is different, and you cannot assume that what worked before will work today.” “Understand: your mind is weaker than your emotions. But you become aware of this weakness only in moments of adversity—precisely the time when you need strength. What best equips you to cope with tthe heat of battle is neither more knowledge nor more intellect. What makes your mind stronger, and more able to control your emotions, is internal discipline and toughness. No one can teach you this skill; you cannot learn it by reading about it. Like any discipline, it can come only through practice, experience, even a little suffering. The first step in building up presence of mind is to see the need for it—to want it badly enough to be willing to work for it.” As Sun-tzu says, “Being unconquerable lies with yourself.”

  23. 5 out of 5

    Franco Arda

    Military collected more genuine intellects and risk thinkers than most if not all other professions ... and Robert Greene puts his vast knowledge of military hitory knowledge and insights into this outstanding book. He combines in a unique way strategy, philosophy and history. The book is comprised into five parts; I) SELF-DIRECTED WARFARE II) ORGANIZATIONAL (TEAM) WARFARE III) DEFENSIVE WARFARE IV) OFFENSIVE WARFARE V) UNCONVENTIONAL (DIRTY) WARFARE The first part, SELF-DIRECTED WARFARE, is absolutely Military collected more genuine intellects and risk thinkers than most if not all other professions ... and Robert Greene puts his vast knowledge of military hitory knowledge and insights into this outstanding book. He combines in a unique way strategy, philosophy and history. The book is comprised into five parts; I) SELF-DIRECTED WARFARE II) ORGANIZATIONAL (TEAM) WARFARE III) DEFENSIVE WARFARE IV) OFFENSIVE WARFARE V) UNCONVENTIONAL (DIRTY) WARFARE The first part, SELF-DIRECTED WARFARE, is absolutely mind-blowing! Greene starts the book as only very few can match. We read how the greatest generals in history saw the limits of knowledge, experience and theory and how brilliantly the great philosopher of war Carl von Clausewitz summarized those ideas. The importance of having no principles by Napoleon and how to wage war on your mind. We learn from the Samurai times why we are our own worst enemy, the illusion of limitless time and a consequent lack of reality that faces us all. A fantastic read on military strategy and wisdom.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed Zunair Cheema

    For Robert Greene, life is a continuous struggle; it is nothing short of a perpetual war. In his ‘The 33 Startegies of War’, he has drawn an interesting portrayal of the way the rules of warfare can be put to application in our relationships, work place & other spheres of daily life. As in his ‘The 48 Laws of Power’, the author has relied heavily upon historical narrative. However, it is 'less Machiavellian' than his previous work. The book is littered with sparkling pearls of practical wisdom fr For Robert Greene, life is a continuous struggle; it is nothing short of a perpetual war. In his ‘The 33 Startegies of War’, he has drawn an interesting portrayal of the way the rules of warfare can be put to application in our relationships, work place & other spheres of daily life. As in his ‘The 48 Laws of Power’, the author has relied heavily upon historical narrative. However, it is 'less Machiavellian' than his previous work. The book is littered with sparkling pearls of practical wisdom from cultures all over the world. With a brilliant interpretation of historical events, Greene takes the reader inside the heads of some of the best strategists who ever lived. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in war; history; lives of war heroes; ruthless yet successful businessmen and politicians. It may also be used as a self-help book by pragmatists who want to improve their lot through utilitarian & tangible means rather than falling for absurdly spiritual self-help stuff.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    Interesting book, but I think he tries to draw broad lessons from very particular circumstances or interprets events in a way that will produce the lesson he wants. Also, it is obvious that studying strategies of war will help you prevail in actual wars. I am not convinced that you should study war strategies as a self-improvement technique, as this book recommends.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    A bit of a slough towards the end, but one well worth finishing. Full of fascinating stories, strategies, and anecdotes. A tad on the long side, though. But, with Robert Greene that's the standard difficulty. More of a marathon than a sprint. Fortunately, I had a long train ride. I look forward to subjecting myself to his newest book. Let me catch my breath first. A bit of a slough towards the end, but one well worth finishing. Full of fascinating stories, strategies, and anecdotes. A tad on the long side, though. But, with Robert Greene that's the standard difficulty. More of a marathon than a sprint. Fortunately, I had a long train ride. I look forward to subjecting myself to his newest book. Let me catch my breath first.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danyal Wahid

    Having read Machiavelli before this which is a much more refined and philosophical body of work on the nature of political strategy; and having recently acquired an interest in, and understanding of, Stoic philosophy, which advocates reluctance towards extending control over external factors, I feel as if I did this book a great injustice by picking it up when I did. As it stands, I feel that this is a good enough introduction towards understanding the various categories of stratagem that can be Having read Machiavelli before this which is a much more refined and philosophical body of work on the nature of political strategy; and having recently acquired an interest in, and understanding of, Stoic philosophy, which advocates reluctance towards extending control over external factors, I feel as if I did this book a great injustice by picking it up when I did. As it stands, I feel that this is a good enough introduction towards understanding the various categories of stratagem that can be applied in martial war, however, it fails at creating relevance towards any real-life application albeit not for lack of trying. Perhaps this is just a flaw of the concise edition that I found myself in possession of and the extended work does a better job of it. Ultimately, there are better works out there both in political strategy and in war strategy that are much richer in the dimensions they explore, and this is at best a very introductory text to serve as an appetizer before the main course.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I would really recommend skipping the very disagreeable first chapter. It will probably vex you, unless you already felt like the world was against you! The book gets really enjoyable and interesting from the second chapter. If you don't skip the first, it will likely get you so wound up that it will colour all the subsequent chapters with a horn bias that will prevent you from gaining some deeply powerful and important insights. As well as the megalomaniacal first chapter (and in many other plac I would really recommend skipping the very disagreeable first chapter. It will probably vex you, unless you already felt like the world was against you! The book gets really enjoyable and interesting from the second chapter. If you don't skip the first, it will likely get you so wound up that it will colour all the subsequent chapters with a horn bias that will prevent you from gaining some deeply powerful and important insights. As well as the megalomaniacal first chapter (and in many other places), there are sections that demonstrate Greene is over-reaching. One such example is his chapters on teams and leadership. He clearly knows nothing about organisational and societal leadership, where leadership is based on inspiring followership rather than formal military hierarchies. Most of his inferences on group behaviour couldn't have missed the mark more if he was throwing them blindfolded! This is a representation of how highly-contextualised ideas shouldn't and can't be generalised out of their context without empirical support. As such, chapters 5-7 were either a waste of time or purely tautological. I would also skip Chapter 27. It's sociopathic. 28 isn't much better. This constant goal of applying military strategy to daily life was the most disappointing part of the book. Rather than introducing military strategy as something that can be learned from within its context, this stretching of military strategy to non-military situations meant that much was lost, and very little gained other than conjecture that was often extreme and also often completely wrong. There were also many fundamental attribution errors. If the commander in the story lost, the loss was attributed to a specific error that was made, if they won, it was due to a specific strategic choice. Yet often the errors made in one example were identical to the successful strategy in another. Clearly, contextual adaptation matters, but so does the uncontrollable variance of a hundred other factors. Post hoc analysis of wins and losses cannot, therefore, be generalised into a prescriptive framework with a promise of a predictive outcome, especially outside of the context in which it originated. Yet, so long as you, the reader, are aware of that, you can gleam mental models for analysis and consideration. Finally, there's a heavy weighting toward classical warfare (especially Napoleon), which is in line with Greene's educational background in classical studies. Unfortunately, this misses out much in modern warfare, including the important conversation about whether the omniscient "grand strategist" is ever actually possible. That said, with some chapter skipping, there were some very interesting findings, and although nothing was ground-breaking or "new," they were good reminders, and it did provide a set of mental models for considering conflict through battle (as opposed to negotiation or persuasion). The historical anecdotes were well selected and well written. It was also an overall engaging read, which is a challenge for the subject. What did the book leave me with? (view spoiler)[ General Strategy * Declare war on sacred cows in your own mind: Adapt to the context and be your own strategist in the moment. Do not rely on old techniques, plans and technologies. Do not taint what you observe with knowing. Similarly, do not taint your next battle with your last. * Presence of mind is the calm centre of battle, built through rigid self-discipline. That calmness inspires fear, confidence and trust. * Declare war on the illusion of limitless time: work/act as though death is at your heels. Waste no moment. Engage absolutely. * Fix others' expectations with the ordinary, and bring the extraordinary only when you're underestimated. Be unpredictable in capability. Less General Strategy * Declare war on superiority: Calibrate strengths to an attacker's weaknesses to form an economical war of attrition. Exhaust a larger enemy through small but effective varied counterattacks. * Use assumptions to disguise intent. If biases are held against you, you can use a strategy of appearances to reinforce that bias, while counterattacking in an unexpected way. Give them what they expect to see. * Ensure that you can outlast your opponent and then force a war of attrition by conceding space in order to extend conflict. Retreat must not be an end in itself but a strategic choice. Don't give a target to hit. Be elusive, goading your opponent into continuously running into a fight that does not exist. * Slow-slow-quick-quick: Establish an informal and loyal intelligence network with those closest to information sources. Observe and make no move until you know either your enemy's centre of gravity or an impacting weakness, then strike decisively and suddenly. * Battle for control: ensure your enemy is kept at a disadvantage to prevent planning or past action to guide them. Seize the initiative, demoralise them, force them into unfamiliar battlegrounds, and compel mistakes through baits and traps. Allow them to believe they control the dynamic. * Divide and conquer: Identify the joints or internal divisions within your enemy's army and aim to separate a larger force into individual and defeatable weaker forces. * Avoid a concentrated frontal attack; use flanking and envelopment instead. A frontal attack can be used as a distraction. Exploit and envelop their entire mental framework. * Maneuver your enemy into dilemmas (unsolvable), not problems (solvable). Craft a context where every choice disrupts, demoralises and diminishes the ability to fight. * 6 forms of deception: the false front (appear weaker than you are), decoys, camouflage, the hypnotic pattern (fit the pattern of expectations), planted information, and deception within deception. (hide spoiler)]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kenya Wright

    Packed with ways to win a war and the scary truths of humanity.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ali Hussein

    My first time trying an audiobook aha. Safe to say I prefer paperback books. Anywho I enjoyed this book. I’m starting to like Robert Greene’s style of writing and what he teaches in his books. His books almost remind me of a game of Chess. Using strategy and long term planning as opposed to tactics and short term thinking. Good book. Will be reading more of his books. 4/5.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...