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The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist's Guide to Success in Business and Life Paperback – January 4, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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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

About the Author

Avinash Dixit is Emeritus John J.F. Sherrerd University Professor of Economics at Princeton University, where he offered his popular freshman course in game theory. He is among the world’s leading economists, having made fundamental contributions in several major fields as well as in game theory. He is the author of many books, including Dixit/Nalebuff: Thinking Strategically (Norton, 1991), Dixit/Pindyck: Investment Under Uncertainty (Princeton University Press, 1994), and Dixit/Nalebuff: The Art of Strategy (Norton, 2009).

Barry J. Nalebuff is the Milton Steinbach Professor at the Yale School of Management. Nalebuff applies game theory to business strategy and is the co-founder of one of America's fastest-growing companies, Honest Tea.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 59521st edition (January 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393337170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393337174
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Kim on June 17, 2009
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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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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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.
Read more ›
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was interested in finding out the basics of game theory to determine if I wanted to learn more about it and this book was perfect for that purpose. They use concrete, down-to-earth examples to illustrate the basics of game theory and how they can be applied in real life. I immediately found myself examining everyday situations from a game theoretical perspective and thinking about how I "signal" to others. Very engrossing read and definitely worth the time.

Bonus - the "Trips to the Gym" (opportunities to think about and apply topics discussed in each chapter) and case studies were great exercises to help me check my understanding of each principle, which was tremendously helpful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not an easy read, about the same as a college textbook. I have taken college logic and this book is about the same as that classes text book. DO you like charts?, nothing says a good read like charts.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. Many books teach only abstract concepts, which is great for building upon ones ability to use the particular subject, but to determine why any given branch of mathematics is actually worthwhile demands that one understand it from the perspective of experimentation and physical evidence in order to become intimately familiar with the subject and get the most understanding and least confusion from it. I recommend this to anyone interested in learning game theory, and also to anyone else who wants to become more adept at making good, strategic decisions in their day to day interactions.
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