The Strategist: The Life and Times of Thomas Schelling

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9781884186370: The Strategist: The Life and Times of Thomas Schelling
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It is strange that a book could carry endorsement from both Robert McNamara and Daniel Ellsberg, perhaps even more so when a prime minister is added to the mix. What could bring such a combination together is a man with a ready smile and a twinkle in his eye who had lived a life unknown to the general public until his profound yet quiet influence was recognized as he was awarded a Nobel Prize for Economics in 2005. Thomas C. Schelling had liked solving puzzles from his early days and that joy of solving puzzles would lead him to study economics, as the Great Depression had offered the most difficult of all puzzles, then to nuclear strategy when the puzzle became survival in the Cold War. This is his story.

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From the Publisher:

On October 10, 2005, the Nobel Prize Committee announced that Thomas C. Schelling had won the Prize for Economics "for having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis." It was an announcement many had long expected. Though little known to the general public, Schelling's influence on the post-World War II world has been considerable. Notable in many academic arenas, Schelling's name continues to be associated most frequently with the Cold War and nuclear strategy.

Deterrence, the "hotline," Kennedy's stance during the brinkmanship of the Berlin Crisis, and Mutually Assured Destruction are examples of his role during the world's most dangerous era. Schelling emerged on the scene soon after the Cold War began, as he was off to Europe with the Marshall Plan, and his influence continued into the 1970s, contributing to the SALT I and ABM arms negotiation breakthroughs.

It was with the think tank RAND that Schelling began to transform into a "Cold Warrior," and where he adopted the game-theory analysis he would use as part of his strategic thinking. Always the rationalist, he sought to reduce situations to puzzles that could be solved and used metaphors to explain key elements, so those who made decisions would do so with understanding. He was remarkably successful, but the margin for error was small, and there were times when it was perilously close.

Until now, his story, that of a strategic thinker behind the scenes during the major events of the turbulent Cold War, was a missing part of the drama.

From the Back Cover:

"Tom Schelling's achievements and influence have warranted attention for nearly half a century, and this book bringing his story to the public is long overdue."
--Robert McNamara, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; author, Argument Without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy

"The full harvest of Schelling's brilliant and original insights on bargaining, negotiation and arms control has yet to be adequately reaped--and there is no time to lose."
--Daniel Ellsberg, author, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

"Tom Schelling has perhaps the most brilliant and interesting mind I've had the privilege to encounter. To our great benefit, he has applied the power of his strategic thinking to some of the most pressing issues of our time--from the control of nuclear arms to the control of personal addictions. In this wonderfully written biography by Robert Dodge, Schelling comes to life in one fascinating story after another. I recommend it highly!"
--William Ury, co-author, Getting to Yes and author, The Third Side

"Thomas Schelling's ideas and approaches illuminate and clarify very many public policy issues. This book will popularize Schelling's ideas to a wider audience, and so help to raise the quality of public debate and policy."
--Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9789812613615: The Strategist: The Life and Times of Thomas Schelling – How a Game Theorist Understood the Cold War and Won the Nobel Prize

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ISBN 10:  9812613617 ISBN 13:  9789812613615
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish, 2006
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