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Alexander The Great’s Art of Strategy

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Alexander The Great’s Art of Strategy

The Timeless Lessons of History’s Greatest Empire Builder

Gotham Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Leadership according to Alexander the Great: If you think you rule the world, maybe you do.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Partha Bose has crafted an impressive volume that stands equally well as a work of interpretive history or as a contemporary guide to effective business strategy. Like any lessons-of-history-applied-to-business volume, it works to find a delicate balance between past and present. Its practical business examples range from Honda to IBM to the war in Afghanistan (a land which Alexander was the last to conquer successfully). Fortunately, Bose avoids the temptation to give the facts of history short shrift. Do not expect to find an answer about whether to do that big acquisition deal. (You'll never establish your own business empire if you get too caught up in the details!) Instead, this volume brings to life the classic lessons of leadership that march across the eons, unstoppable, unchanging, unchallenged, like the Macedonian legion itself. highly recommends this book to executives, strategists, history buffs and all those who harbor a secret desire to rule the world!


Greatness Defined

The Greek poet Archilocus wrote that, “the fox knoweth many things, the hedgehog knows one great thing.” On July 26, 356 B.C., a boy was born in Macedonia’s royal capital of Pella. His name was Alexander III. His tutor would one day be none other than Aristotle, who would teach him to combine the broad knowledge of the fox with the wisdom of the hedgehog. History would come to know him as Alexander the Great.

The historical impact of Alexander the Great would be almost as difficult to exaggerate as that of his famous tutor. Although he is primarily considered a warrior and conqueror, Alexander’s strategic thinking has influenced leaders through the ages, including the likes of Julius and Augustus Caesar, Mark Anthony, Hannibal, Napoleon, George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Irwin Rommel and, more recently, Norman Schwarzkopf. The generals of the world now plotting to defeat terrorism almost certainly will be drawing – knowingly or unknowingly – on lessons first mastered by Alexander. You can adapt those lessons to serve effectively in the executive suite or boardroom.

The training he received as a youth planted the seeds of Alexander...

About the Author

Partha Bose is the Marketing Director of Allen & Overy, one of the world's largest law firms with 5,000 professionals and offices in 26 countries. Until March, 2003, he was the Chief Marketing Office of Monitor Group. Bose is a native of India who divides his time between Boston and London. He is a former partner of McKinsey & Company and editor of The McKinsey Quarterly.

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