Strategy: A History

Item Information
Item#: 9780199325153
Author Freedman, Lawrence
Cover Hardback
On Hand 1
On Order 0

In 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.

Table of Contents
Preface Origins Origins 1: Evolugion Origins 2: The Bible Origins 3: The Greeks Sun Tzu and Machiavelli Satan's Strategy Strategies of Force The New Science of Strategy Clausewitz The False Science Annihilation or Exhaustion Brain and Brawn The Indirect Approach Nuclear Games The Rationality of Irrationality Guerrilla Warfare Observation and Orientation The Revolution in Military Affairs Beyond Clausewitz Strategy from Below Marx and a Strategy for the Working Class Herzen and Bakunin Revisionists and Vanguards Bureaucrats, Democrats and Elites Formulas, Myths and Propaganda The Power of Nonviolence Existential Strategy Black Power and White Anger Frames, Paradigms, Discourses and Narratives Race, Religion and Elections Strategy from Above The Rise of the Management Class The Business of Business Management Strategy Business as War The Rise of Economics Red Queens and Blue Oceans The Sociological Challenge Deliverate or Emergent Theories of Strategy The Limits of Rational Choice Beyond Rational Choice Stories and Scripts Acknowledgements