The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.53
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by thrift_books
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Thriftbooks is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Compleat Strategyst (Complete Strategist): Being A Primer On The Theory Of Games Of Strategy Hardcover – June, 1965

ISBN-13: 978-0070703964 ISBN-10: 0070703965 Edition: Revised

Used
Price: $4.53
7 New from $64.54 22 Used from $4.53 1 Collectible from $46.62
Amazon Price New from Used from
eTextbook
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$64.54 $4.54
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$14.95
Take%20an%20Extra%2030%25%20Off%20Any%20Book
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill; Revised edition (June 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070703965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070703964
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,875,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Classic game theory primer from 1954 that discusses basic concepts of game theory and its applications, and which popularized the subject for amateurs, professionals, and students throughout the world. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

And quite a many witty jokes come in extra!
Cevat Cokol
A definite must for anyone who wants to start learning about game theory.
"alynder"
I first read this book when I was in high school, around 1957.
"pdbradshaw"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Graf on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Compleat Strategyst by J.D. Williams is a wonderful introduction to the ins and outs of game theory. The pace of the primer I found quite reasonable, and the organization is very natural. The Compleat Strategyst begins with the gist (as it should) regarding game matrices and how to interpret them. Williams's discussion then proceeds through 2 x 2 games, 2 x m games, 3 x 3 games, 3 x m games, and so on. Each section contains clever story problems chosen to both re-enforce basic principles and point to potential pitfalls. Also provided are numerous exercises to build the skills necessary to understand game theory.
One of the most enjoyable facets of The Compleat Strategyst is J.D. Williams's entertaining writing style. He seems to know the kind of people reading his book (non-mathematicians who think they might be able to apply game theory to their own work - in my case anyway), and the text is taylored to that audience. In addition, while making the subject matter of game theory accessible strictly through arithmatic, the author provides fair reminders that a great deal of actual mathmatics is being swept beneath the rug.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Cevat Cokol on June 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I share the feedback of the other reviewers in that this book is extremely fun to read, very well-written and comprehensively covers (thoroughly teaches the so inclined) a few aspects of game theory. The drawback is that it limits itself, consciously it seems, to zero-sum games played between two players. So after reading this book, you have no excuse for not being able to solve any such games. The narrative, the examples and the exercises take care of this. However, you will learn near nothing about non-zero-sum games, which are in actuality more life-like (hence a probable reason for the complaint of one reviewer who wants more real examples).

Nevertheless, this book is extremely well-written, and truly accomplishes what it aims: giving the reader an appreciation of the basis of game theory and teaching them to solve zero-sum games. And quite a many witty jokes come in extra!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "alynder" on June 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be an excellent introduction to game theory that doesn't require much mathamatical background beyond simple algebra. It comes complete with theoretical explainations of the game matrix, problems to help sharpen your skills, and strategic stories that fit with a game matrix, to help show how game theory can be applied to real problems. A definite must for anyone who wants to start learning about game theory.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Mueller on February 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a superlative introduction to a mathematical concept which, with a lesser writer, could be tedious to learn. Williams includes many entertaining and enjoyable story problems, replete with attractive illustrations. He takes an inherently interesting topic and makes it easy and fun to learn.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Van Court VINE VOICE on November 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Game theory for the users not for mathematicians.

Write a book on jet engines for engineers and you'll have chapters on the choice of alloy for the turbine blades and casing, formulae for fuel nozzle diameters, air flow and compression ratios, etc. Write a book on jet engines for mechanics, and it might be just as long, but have very different content, with types of failures and their causes, proper tool selections, techniques for cleaning internal components, etc.

"The Compleat Strategyst" is for people who (figuratively) turn wrenches in problems of decision-making. Were it for mathematicians, it would have long, convuluted derivations of axioms, and use sigma notation on 2 out of three pages. As a liberal arts major, it was a relief to find out that calculus appears nowhere in this book, as greek letters mixed in math disturb my digestion, and cause anxiety attacks. You'll need some math, but only what would show up in junior high school pre-algebra. The worst you'll run into are ratios with five or more elements and some long division problems, nothing that requires a recovery period.

What it does have is a first rate explaination of decision matrices for economists, historians, and poli-sci majors, along with other essential topics in game theory. The focus is basic, two-player games with only passing mention to anything other than zero-sum games, but within its limits, it is very good. Use of matrices to support decisions, the value of randomness in situations where strategies are of similar risk-benefit, and multiple strategy games are covered very well. Although basic, enough detail and examples are given, that the concepts can be readily applied to real world decisions.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Steve L on July 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warning: This book only tells you how to solve game theory problems, NOT WHY the solutions work! So you actually aren't truly learning game theory at all. It's really more an answer key than a primer on game theory. If that's what you want, fine, but if you're looking for an initial step on the road to UNDERSTANDING game theory, look elsewhere.
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on June 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Funny thing about words: depending on context, they can evoke quite different moods. Take, for example, "matrix": when referring to a certain movie with Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss, most people react favorably. Used, however, when discussing mathematics, and the majority will feel something different, perhaps akin to fear and repulsion. On the one hand, this is understandable; working with matrices can be tedious grunt work with little of the theoretical beauty that much of math offers; on the other hand, it is the heart and soul of one particularly interesting branch, game theory.

J.D. Williams's The Compleat Strategyst is an introduction to game theory and by the end of the volume you will see your fair share of matrices, but this should not be overly intimidating. Williams knows that they can be unwieldy and does his best to simplify matters. But first, he introduces us to game theory itself.

Essentially, game theory is a mathematical method for calculating strategies. In most games, the theory will be too overly simple, but it does offer a lot of insights with practical implications in fields such as economics (for example, John Nash of "A Beautiful Mind" won his Nobel Prize for work in this field). The classic illustration, not really discussed in this book, involves the Prisoner's Dilemma: two men are held for a crime. If neither confesses, both go free; if only one confesses, he gets a light sentence and the other gets a heavy one; if both confess, they each get a medium sentence. What should the prisoner's strategy be? Silence can result in the best payout (freedom), but also the worst if the other prisoner confesses. Confession guarantees a sentence, but at worst, it will not be as bad as the one that can result from silence.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews