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Warfighting Paperback – May 1, 1995


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Warfighting + Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War + Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Warfighting... is like a primer... the feints, flanks, attacks all apply in other walks of life."--F. Lee Bailey, attorney.

From the Publisher

"Warfighting... is like a primer... the feints, flanks, attacks all apply in other walks of life."--F. Lee Bailey, attorney.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; Reprint edition (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385478348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385478342
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.3 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,222,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Well worth a read - and a re-read.
Jeffrey D Purtee
Two of those books are Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War and Warfighting: The U. S. Marine Corps Book of Strategy.
Walter H. Bock
This should be required reading for every business leader and manager.
D. E. Huggins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Rich J on July 8, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a former Marine who studied FMFM-1 "Warfighting" back in the early 1990's during my service in the Infantry. It is one of the best books out there on strategy and is directly applicable to the business world.

One thing I'd like to point out is this book (like most non-confidential documents published by the US Govt) is freely available on the Internet. Search under FMFM-1 (the first edition) or MCDP-1 (the 1997 re-write) on Google for the PDFs. This printed version does have a small introduction by F. Lee Bailey and a few other famous people who are also Marines.

Also, unlike a previous reviewer, don't discount the philosophy of Sun Tzu. "Warfighting" is a derivative of Clausewitz and Tzu. By reading these older philosophies you will become a better strategic thinker -- in all ways of life, not just war or business.

Semper Fi.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L. Vives on August 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
A veritable classic book about discipline, teamwork and leadership. Clear, concise and to the point, the book boldly explains the code of conduct and moral quality of a Marine. Whether you are in the military, a business person, project manager or a mother of three, this book will help you achieve your goals without toiling more than necessary. No recipes, just attitude. The message delivered, if taken as a how-to-book, empowers the reader to plan, fearlessly expect the unexpected and, finally, "get things done". It views man (here meaning the "human being") as the most valuable element and views "mistakes or imperfections" as virtues when properly harnessed. It is a book of strategy and one that will point out the value of each and every one of us. Not a book to be read once, but to be cherished and re-read many times and to be passed on to generations to come.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Unmoved Mover on November 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Warfighting was written for the Marine unfamiliar with maneuver warfare to pick up, flip through, memorize the axioms, and apply in battle. As such, like most other field manuals issued to soldiers, it is a distillation of a large swath of ideas from Sun Tzu to Liddell-Hart. That said, it packs a good punch for such a small work. If, however, you're looking for a more detailed illustration of the principles outlined here, you might take a look at B.H. Liddell-Hart's "Strategy" as well as Thomas Cleary's translation of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War."

Additionally, those westerners who enjoy axioms focusing on the flux of life, war, or what have you might also like to take a look at Heraclitus' "Fragments." The basic tenets of Taoism that permeate Sun Tzu (and, by proxy, "Warfighting") can be equally well found in Heraclitus. His primary "thesis" if you will, "nothing is stationary, life is flux," is the axiom upon which maneuver warfare strategy is founded.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Paul H. on December 11, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a how to manual; it isn't even a doctrine guideline. Instead it is a philosophy book. This book lays out simple, fundamental and critical facts about any conflict situation. The value of flexibility, of planning, of taking advantage of opportunities and maintaining the initiative are layout in a quick and easy read.
These truths are valid for the warfighting philosophy of the Marine Corp just as they are for meetings, debates, or presentations or critical reviews. The value of acting on a good plan quickly instead of waiting for the perfect plan later rang especially true. How many times are businesses caught flatfooted by competitors not because they didn't see the trend coming but because they were frozen by indecision?
I highly recommend this book to anybody who is curious about attack, defense, feint, and parry in any situation. The best defense is said to be a good offense, but perhaps the best offense is simply understanding and acting according to the simple principles in Warfighting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcos Polanco on November 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
While speaking from a military perspective, this book is essentially a manual for victory in campaigns of all kinds, whether military, commercial, or political. The core philosophy of "ruthless opportunism" is supported through a diligent exposition of the nature, theory, training, and conduct of war. Gray's approach is unremittingly demanding in every dimension of human capacity, and nothing less could be the price of triumph.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Walter H. Bock on June 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I don't know how many books there are on strategy, but there must be thousands. There are books that will tell you the latest fad in business strategy and strategic planning. There are textbooks on strategy written for students in graduate management programs.

There are innumerable memoirs, and books purporting to connect military strategy to business strategy. There are books about strategy that are actually historical studies of one kind or another. There are great philosophical tomes like Von Clausewitz's masterpiece On War. But there are very few books that are short, well written, and filled with enough wisdom that you keep going back to them. Two of those books are Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War and Warfighting: The U. S. Marine Corps Book of Strategy.

Both are very short. Both are packed with wisdom that you can apply in a variety of situations. Of the two, though, I'd pick Warfighting as the book you "must have" if you're going to make sense of strategy.

Warfighting is the contents of FMF-1, the manual of U. S. Marine Corps doctrine which is distributed to all Marine officers. Rumor has it that it was personally penned by General Al Gray, the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps and a significant figure in Marine Corps history.

Unlike most commandants since the early 20th Century, Gray enlisted in the Marines and rose to the rank of Sergeant before being commissioned in 1952. He was commandant from 1987 to 1991. The first thing he changed was how the commandant dressed.

Most commandants, before and since, wore the Marine dress uniform as their working attire. Gray wore utilities, the working attire of the vast majority of Marines. He drank from a canteen cup emblazoned with four stars.
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