The 33 Strategies Of War (The Robert Greene Collection) | Robert Greene

Summary of: The 33 Strategies Of War (The Robert Greene Collection)
By: Robert Greene


Embark on a journey through time, exploring battles, strategies, and the art of war in Robert Greene’s book, ‘The 33 Strategies of War’. In this summary, you will uncover valuable lessons from notable historical figures such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Sun Tzu, and Pyrrhus. Each story unravels a unique strategy, elucidating the importance of purposefulness, learning from failure, and the concept of ‘Pyrrhic victory’. As you delve into the heart of this riveting book, prepare to master intricate tactics and gain invaluable insight into the world of strategy and war. By the end, you will be equipped to face your own battles with renewed vigor and wisdom.

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Rebirth

In 1849, Fyodor Dostoevsky faced death by firing squad for his involvement in a political rebellion. However, his life was spared, and he was sent to Siberia for hard labor. This experience proved to be transformative for Dostoevsky, as he emerged from prison with a newfound sense of purpose and prolific writing ability. Over the next 25 years, he wrote masterpiece novels such as Crime and Punishment, The Possessed, and The Brothers Karamazov. Despite the hardships he faced, Dostoevsky was grateful for his experience, as it allowed him to make the most of his life and leave a lasting literary legacy.

Finding Purpose on the Edge

Life is full of possibilities that can be both a blessing and a burden. While freedom to choose is liberating, it can also be vertigo-inducing as we try to figure out what we ought to be doing. Nevertheless, moments arise when we are forced to act, and we are left feeling spirited and alive with clarity and purpose. Generals and strategists have been trying to answer how to motivate people to fight like devils for centuries. According to Sun Tzu, a “death ground” is the answer to inspiring purposefulness. A state of mind that puts us in a corner, with failure staring us in the face, is akin to a “death ground” that motivates us to act with urgency and clarity. Although it is impossible to live this way permanently, it is worth deliberately putting oneself in these positions from time to time as a wake-up call.

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