• The 33 Strategies of War

  • By: Robert Greene
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 25-04-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (59 ratings)


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
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Critic reviews

"Greene's compendium offers inspiration and entertainment in equal measure." (Publishers Weekly)
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Regular price: £21.69

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Vinny Flab on 15-09-14

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?


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?


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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By ganiyu on 16-02-14


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.
I may skip the art of seduction though.

Buy this book.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Chris on 07-09-13

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.

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By GH on 10-05-12

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.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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