Strategies for winning the subtle social game of everyday life-from the bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power and The Art of Seduction
Robert Greene's first two groundbreaking guides, The 48 Laws of Power and The Art of Seduction, espouse profound, timeless lessons from events in history to help readers vanquish an enemy or ensnare an unsuspecting victim. Now, with The 33 Strategies of War, Greene has crafted an important new addition to this ruthlessly unique series. Structured in Greene's trademark style, The 33 Strategies of War is a brilliant distillation of the strategies of battle that can help us gain mastery in the modern world. It is the I Ching of conflict, the contemporary companion to Sun-tzu's Art of War.
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) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.