Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Former defense adviser to Tony Blair and professor of war studies at King's College, London, Freedman outlines past and present strategies of force and mind. His encyclopedic review begins with von Clausewitz's ideas on military power, and moves into futurist Kahn's contributions on deterrence in thermonuclear warfare. But this tour de force is not solely or even primarily about war; on bottom-up strategies he includes thinkers such as Marx, Lenin, Mao Zedong, and Martin Luther King, Jr. He also provides evenhanded, reliable analyses of little-read strategists Gramsci and Alinsky, and doesn't neglect propaganda and advertising genius Edward Bernays or corporate management strategic pioneers Peter Drucker and Alfred Sloan. The book concludes with reflections on why strategy is limited by rational choice and chance. The author suggests that strategic thinking in military and business are very different. Unusually thoughtful and clearly written, Freedman's dense tome is a serious academic study in political theory, but it has crossover potential and will attract readers interested in military planning, strategic systems, and the nature of power. (Oct.)