The 33 Strategies of War

by Robert Greene

This book is over 450 pages long but is so dense with information it seems much longer. The amount of research and information on each strategy is fascinating and staggering. Each strategy in the book includes title, subtitle explaining it, short summary of the chapter, two anecdotal stories from history or literature, an interpretation of each story and how it relates to the current strategy, the keys to warfare portion that tells the reader how to employ the strategy, a mnemonic device to help you memorize the strategy, sidebar quotes on every page to support the strategy, a final authoritative quote at the end summing up the strategy, and finally a reversal explaining how to counter the strategy. The only books I can think of to compare it to in its scope of information would be annotated classics or a study Bible.

That said, you will find things in this book and some of the suggestions made to be morally bankrupt. The author approaches this from a secular viewpoint, devoid of almost any morality or universal truth besides looking out for number one. Nonetheless, it is thought-provoking and insightful. I have already added books on Napoleon, Genghis Khan, strategy, warfare, Sherman, etc. to my list because of this book. That may be its’ greatest strength – it is a gateway book and will point you in the direction of many other good reads. It was published in 2007, but still reads as brand new. Highly recommended, especially to anyone with an interest in history, psychology, or warfare. Buy The 33 Strategies of War here or read my book summary first if you aren’t convinced.

The 33 Strategies of War available on amazon