Strategy: A History

Strategy: A History Author Lawrence Freedman
ISBN-10 0190229233
ISBN-13 9780190229238
Year 2015-09-01
Pages 768
Language English
Publisher Oxford University Press
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Selected as a Financial Times Best Book of 2013In Strategy A History Sir Lawrence Freedman one of the world s leading authorities on war and international politics captures the vast history of strategic thinking in a consistently engaging and insightful account of how strategy came to pervade every aspect of our lives The range of Freedman s narrative is extraordinary moving from the surprisingly advanced strategy practiced in primate groups to the opposing strategies of Achilles and Odysseus in The Iliad the strategic advice of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli the great military innovations of Baron Henri de Jomini and Carl von Clausewitz the grounding of revolutionary strategy in class struggles by Marx the insights into corporate strategy found in Peter Drucker and Alfred Sloan and the contributions of the leading social scientists working on strategy today The core issue at the heart of strategy the author notes is whether it is possible to manipulate and shape our environment rather than simply become the victim of forces beyond one s control Time and again Freedman demonstrates that the inherent unpredictability of this environment subject to chance events the efforts of opponents the missteps of friends provides strategy with its challenge and its drama Armies or corporations or nations rarely move from one predictable state of affairs to another but instead feel their way through a series of states each one not quite what was anticipated requiring a reappraisal of the original strategy including its ultimate objective Thus the picture of strategy that emerges in this book is one that is fluid and flexible governed by the starting point not the end point A brilliant overview of the most prominent strategic theories in history from David s use of deception against Goliath to the modern use of game theory in economics this masterful volume sums up a lifetime of reflection on strategy

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