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The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life [Kindle Edition]

Avinash K. Dixit , Barry J. J. Nalebuff
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“I am hard pressed to think of another book that can match the combination of practical insights and reading enjoyment.”—Steven Levitt


Game theory means rigorous strategic thinking. It’s the art of anticipating your opponent’s next moves, knowing full well that your rival is trying to do the same thing to you. Though parts of game theory involve simple common sense, much is counterintuitive, and it can only be mastered by developing a new way of seeing the world. Using a diverse array of rich case studies—from pop culture, TV, movies, sports, politics, and history—the authors show how nearly every business and personal interaction has a game-theory component to it. Mastering game theory will make you more successful in business and life, and this lively book is the key to that mastery.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is an easy read and is written in a lively tone-which is not something I particularly recall from my lectures in the 1980s. Long live economics!" John Burns, The Times Higher Education "Unlike most of the ranks of management advice books which pad out bookshop business sections, here is one which is rigorous, fun and extremely useful all at the same time." The Economist

Review

"It is an easy read and is written in a lively tone-which is not something I particularly recall from my lectures in the 1980s. Long live economics!" John Burns, The Times Higher Education "Unlike most of the ranks of management advice books which pad out bookshop business sections, here is one which is rigorous, fun and extremely useful all at the same time." The Economist

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
155 of 166 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buy "Thinking Strategically" June 17, 2009
By J. Kim
Format:Hardcover
Of course. It is an updated version of their best selling book [Thinking Strategically]. I have taught an introduction to Game Theory course to college undergraduates for years and used their earlier version "Thinking strategically" as a textbook. Nalebuff and Dixit's effort on updating their classic became less than good news to college students. They put too much materials about their ABC documentary which was taken under Dr. Nalebuff's guidance while trying to put too much materials in otherwise a simple-clear book. I strongly recommend you to go to the bookstore and buy their earlier version "thinking strategically" rather than this 'confusing/messy" version.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary after "Thinking Strategically" April 4, 2012
By Kara
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is absolutely no need to read this book if you've read Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life.

I'm not certain why they exist as two separate books. The content is almost identical, and 90% of the examples in this one were lifted from that. I have no idea why this is touted as a "sequel." It is not. It's just Thinking Strategically repackaged (but I will say that its package is prettier). The tagline says that it's a "guide to success in business and life," but it is not. It is game theory explained in an accessible way.

I love game theory. I studied economics in college, and game theory had been my favorite class. I enjoyed Thinking Strategically and looked forward to reading this one. I was disappointed. Had I not read Thinking Strategically, I probably would have found this enjoyable, but I'm giving it two stars for the false advertising.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game Theory For Work AND non-Work Situations November 7, 2008
Format:Hardcover
If you like "game theory" -- or want to know what game theory is -- this could be the best book out there. Certainly there are more scholarly pieces on game theory, but this book is an A+ for its accessible writing, its use of examples that are interesting and a clear approach to point out how game theory comes into play every day for every person, whether we realize it or not. This book helps you understand the decision process in cooperative and competitive situations. It is better to know the "game" and how it is being played, than having the game played on you unwittingly. Highly recommended.

Also highly recommended, but more specifically for business applications, is Co-opetition, co-authored by Barry Nalebuff who is a co-author of The Art of Strategy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece January 9, 2014
Format:Paperback
This is simply one of the best books I had read on either game theory or strategy. It's so well written and organized in layman terms with so many great stories/examples that all who care to read only 50+ pages will learn much from it. In short, highly recommended (at least for those who had not read the authors' previous work before per warning of other reviewers)!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.

What makes something a game: you have to take into account the objectives and strategies of the other players. When guessing a number picked at random, the number isn't trying to hide. You can take the engineer's mindset and divide the interval in two and do the best possible. But if you are playing a game, then you have to consider how the other player will be acting and how those decisions will influence your strategy. Pg6
Sailboat racing offers the chance to observe an interesting reversal of a "follow the leader" strategy. The leading sailboat usually copies the strategy of the trailing boat. When the follower racks, so does the leader. The imitates the follower even when the follower is clearly pursuing a poor strategy. Why? Because in sailboat racing close doesn't count: only winning matters. |If you have the lead. The surest way to stay ahead is to play monkey see, monkey do. Stock market analysts and economic forecasters are not immune to this copycat strategy. The leader forecasters have an incentive to follow the pack and produce predictions similar to everyone else's. This way people are unlikely to change their perception of these forecasters' abilities. On the other hand, new comers take the risky strategies; they tend to predict boom or doom.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bright introduction to game theory November 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Game theory thoroughly and (almost always) plainly exposed. I read it combined with the previous edition "Think strategically" which is in a way more effective, though not covering a couple of subjects, in particular VIckrey's auctions, that the new version brilliantly clarifies. A must-read for non experts provided that you don't pay too much attention to the deceptive subtitle: this book won't give you insights on how to solve real life issues, rather some general reasoning patterns that will come in handy in your everyday activity.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good layman's intro to game theory October 4, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A good book for a slow entry into the world of game theory. Some things are a bit wordy and hard to understand with few pictures/mathematical formulas, but nonetheless it is a good practical book for getting your feet wet.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Covers TOTC very nicely April 27, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book gives quality-time to my hero Garrett Hardin on "The Tragedy of the Commons" as the root of many problems. They even recommend Poundstone's "Prisoner's Dilemma", which would be my recommendation if you are just starting out, because no one can weave in the human interest to keep you reading like William Poundstone. Yet this book has way more technical content, presented accessibly, than "Prisoner's Dilemma".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A new way to think
This book outlines the fundamentals of game theory with endlessly colorful real world examples as well as thought experiments. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dswelli23
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
comprehensive approach to the subject.
clear explanations for all level of readers
interesting from the beginning
good option to buy if you are interested on this... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Roberto A
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great book. Using examples to teach game theory is a proven way to learn about it. I have greatly enjoyed the book, and will share with others.
Published 3 months ago by Nick Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Comprehensible Intro to Game Theory
Complete with a myriad of real world examples, this book is an excellent one to read if your intention is to become familiar with the basic principles of game theory. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Matthew Bendyna
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to game theory
This is a good and interesting introduction to game theory. I liked it so much, I might even read it twice :-)
Published 8 months ago by Espen Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional !
a complete book with a lot of examples and references - the bibliography is very useful also
a clear style and a very good approach of game theory

I'm very glad I... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Cata
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This book made my game theory class interesting. I hated my teacher's style. The only thing I like about that class was doing my reading.
Published 12 months ago by Polel
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you want to be smarter?
Beyond a reasonable doubt, no matter how hard it is for you to solve problems or figure things out....you will be better at it after reading this book. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts Out Good, then
A key game theory lesson is to put yourself in the other player's shoes, taking into account their objectives and strategies. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Loyd E. Eskildson
4.0 out of 5 stars A little more worn than stated
The book was sold used, and described as so but was a little more worn than expected. Good price though.
Published 15 months ago by Robert Trippel
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