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Publisher's Summary

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.

Listen to the companion audiobook, The 48 Laws of Power.
©2006 Robert Greene and Joost Elffers; (P)2007 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"Greene's compendium offers inspiration and entertainment in equal measure." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent Materials

This is a very good book on strategy and strategic thinking. Uses very good historical examples to visualize the concept. The ideas and concepts can be used in both personal and business settings. Not all concepts are applicable for everyone, but in general will help you build a broader understanding about strategy and strategic decision making. I would rank this in the top 10 books for strategy. Other titles to consider are

Good Strategy Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt
Understanding Michael Porter by Joan Magretta
Strategic Thinking Skills by The Great Courses narrated by Stanley Ridgley
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
The Innovators Solution by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael Raynor
Seeing What's Next by Clayton M. Christensen and Scott D. Anthony

Just to name a few.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • GH
  • 05-10-12

A very intesting read with great examples

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The book offers a concise set of war strategies which are appilable to today and histroical politics as well as business.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The 33 Strategies of War?

When I made the connection that this book applied to politics, business and personal interactions. There are many lessons to be learned.

Any additional comments?

A good exercise is to create a mind-map of the strategies. If you do this, your appreciation for how these strategies reinforce each other will deepen.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Such a smooth experience.

It's so easy to envision and follow. I love the examples and then breakdowns of the strategies.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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perfect

the ultimate book. I listen to it over and over. perfect guide to battling internal enemies

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great

Where does The 33 Strategies of War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was my favorite books so far!

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A

Have you listened to any of Don Leslie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He was perfect, I liked the intensity. I like to visualize while I listen to books and he was one of the best for providing strong emotion.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Better Book Than Audiobook

Would you consider the audio edition of The 33 Strategies of War to be better than the print version?

No. I listened to the audiobook and I just finished the print version. The print/kindle version is superior. I found myself losing interest quickly in the audiobook, party due to the overly dramatic narration.

Any additional comments?

Great book, but a much better read than audiobook. The 50th Law, narrated by Robert Greene himself is a much more engaging listen with similar stories and themes.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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A MUST HAVE!!!

For anyone who wants to be more mentally (and psychologically) competitive. This give you the roots of "all" psychological warfare. Regardless of whether you're a student, or out in the workforce - THIS BOOK WILL TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL THAT "YOU" WANT TO BE AT.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Classic

The narrator has the perfect voice for this book. You will find your self assessing every situation like a military strategist with an objective or goal to reach. Every strategy is explained and presented with historical examples. A must read/listen.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting read for those deep thinkers.....

I look forward to listening to others like this one because they have a similar message.

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Great!

This book reviews war strategies & thought processes that can be used in everyday life to be successful and overcome known & unknown enemies.

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  • Vinny Flab
  • 09-15-14

Strategy 34: Quit whilst you're ahead

What disappointed you about The 33 Strategies of War?

OK I'm only an hour in out of ten... But...This is an abridged version. Following the book on Kindle whilst listening to the audio shows that a quantity (hard to judge whether that's many or a few at this stage) of the anecdotes and examples have been omitted. This means much of the texture is missing, and what remains feels like a relentless, leaden self help book.

What was most disappointing about Robert Greene’s story?

N/A

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator has a good voice but it doesn't seem to suit the content. I can hear Evan Davies (BBC radio 4 and tv) reading the book and it being far more engaging, lighter, enquiring.With the narrator chosen for this (together with the omission of some of the real life examples) I feel like I'm being brain washed rather than hearing some interesting ideas.

What character would you cut from The 33 Strategies of War?

N/A

Any additional comments?

I was a little annoyed that at the start of the book the snare drum motif (it's got war in the title remember) keeps going for two and a half minutes under the narration. A very distracting rat a tat that gets things off on the wrong foot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ganiyu
  • 02-16-14

Riveting.

What made the experience of listening to The 33 Strategies of War the most enjoyable?

It was like listening to multiple amazing books.

What did you like best about this story?

It was consistent through out regardless of the various wars and main characters. It flowed really well.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Played it whilst out and indoors. Really enjoyed it.

Any additional comments?

I have Mastery - the laws of power and 33 strategies of war. <br/>I may skip the art of seduction though.<br/><br/>Buy this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Project Manager
  • 07-17-16

Good read

I liked this and it's interesting to listen to. However, the examples are extremely old and it would have been nice if more modern examples were included. Nevertheless it was a really good audiobook.

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  • Mr Simon W D Borland
  • 02-24-16

One of my favourites!

Would you listen to The 33 Strategies of War again? Why?

This is a must have book. Truly wonderful historical examples of clearly described principles for success (and failure).

What was one of the most memorable moments of The 33 Strategies of War?

I love the chapter by chapter subjects and examples.

Which character – as performed by Don Leslie – was your favourite?

All

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me full of wonder and admiration for the historical characters referenced in each chapter.

Any additional comments?

This is absolutely essential for anyone who likes to learn about history, and especially to learn lessons from historical successes and failures. It only touches lightly on most historical examples, so its not intended as a historical textbook, but it beautifully highlights the lessons that could and should be learnt form the past.<br/><br/>I recommend this book to my friends in person a lot (and Robert Greenes other books too).<br/><br/>I own this book in print also (about 8 years ago I read it several times)

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  • Matthew
  • 12-16-15

Brilliant! Simple.

What made the experience of listening to The 33 Strategies of War the most enjoyable?

The short bite size chunks and the references thereafter.<br/>

Any additional comments?

I've a few of these books and have to say the format works for me. <br/><br/>I have them, which is rare for me as I struggle to read due to PTSD, in hard copy and each chapter is covered in scribbles and notes.<br/><br/>I'm also a former soldier and find this a great way to translate the startegic and tactical theories into my entrepreneur life.

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  • wade salmond
  • 06-04-15

The culmination of strategic thinking

The culmination of strategic thinking in all of it's expressions. There are a great number of books about strategy in a business, military, political or social setting. However (in my opinion) this book brings them together under one umbrella, far better than any prior text. The historical examples and myriad of settings add a great weight to the principles. Writen in Greene's characteristic style, and with Don Leslie's animated reading (all be it less frightening than his reading of The 48 Laws of Power) makes for an entertaining, insightful and educational read for anyone practicing in business, politics, social settings (and some personal relationships!)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jared
  • 06-02-16

Precisely the strategy book I've been looking for

Greene takes us through the highlights of significant historical conflicts before drawing lessons from them for the contemporary world.
The history alone is a captivating read, the added conclusions are highly apt for human interactions today. Exactly the mix of history and strategy I've been after.

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  • Bradley
  • 03-21-15

Insightful

Great book of insight and strategies and a really good reading. Good for all interested in strategic thought.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful