A reader asks:
Sun Tzu is the best book on strategy. But which modern works on strategy do you find of interest? Thank you.
Of course, there are a lot of modern works that use the word "strategy" in their titles without any clue as to what Sun Tzu's strategy is or how it works. However, there are several modern works that deal with strategy in a fairly classical way, but they tend to be narrowly focused on specific areas. Most don't really teach strategy as much as they demonstrate its use.
In the military arena, there are lots and lots of good works. I especially liked The Pentagon's New Map
by Thomas PM Barnett. It looks at the worldwide military position hitting all the major points of classical strategic analysis. It is especially good for developing a global view of the war on terror.
In business, many books offer strategic analysis in various forms, but most are too narrow and technical for my tastes. Michael Porter's work such as Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors
is typical of the narrow focus of the genre. His earlier work, Competitive Advantage : Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance
was a little more generic, but again very academic.
In politics, I particularly like the work of Dick Morris. His latest book, Condi vs. Hillary : The Next Great Presidential Race
is pure strategic analysis, hitting all of the major points of positioning (philosophy, ground, character, trends, and methods) though almost unconsciously.
Of these three, only Porter's books try to teach strategy as such, but the application is so narrow and technical, I can't really recommend it to the average person. There are books that teach military strategy, but they are written for officer candidates working within a modern military and again, I can not really recommend them for anyone not planning on becoming a military officer.