A Sense of the Enemy: The High Stakes History of Reading Your Enemy's Mind
More than two thousand years ago the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu advised us to know our enemies. The question has always been how. In A Sense of the Enemy, the historian Zachary Shore demonstrates that leaders can best understand an opponent not simply from his pattern of past behavior, but from his behavior at pattern breaks. Meaningful pattern breaks occur during dramatic deviations from the routine, when the enemy imposes costs upon himself. It's at these unexpected moments, Shore explains, that successful leaders can learn what makes their rivals truly tick.
Shore presents a uniquely revealing history of twentieth-century conflict. With vivid, suspenseful prose, he takes us into the minds of statesmen, to see how they in turn tried to enter the minds of others. In the process, he shows how this type of mind-reading, which he calls "strategic empathy," shaped matters of war and peace. Mahatma Gandhi, for instance, was an excellent strategic empath. In the wake of a British massacre of unarmed Indian civilians, how did Gandhi know that nonviolence could ever be effective? And what of Gustav Stresemann, the 21-year-old Wunderkind Ph.D., who rose from lobbyist for chocolate makers to Chancellor of Germany. How did he manage to resurrect his nation to great power status after its humiliating loss in World War One? And then there is Le Duan, the shadowy Marxist manipulator who was actually running North Vietnam during the 1960s, as opposed to Ho Chi Minh. How did this rigid ideologue so skillfully discern America's underlying constraints? And, armed with this awareness, how did he construct a grand strategy to defeat the United States? One key to all these leaders' triumphs came from the enemy's behavior at pattern breaks.
Drawing on research from the cognitive sciences, and tapping multilingual, multinational sources, Shore has crafted an innovative history of the last century's most pivotal moments, when lives and nations were on the line. Through this curious study of strategic empathy, we gain surprising insights into how great leaders think.
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Seeking Strategic Empathy
Gandhi and the British Character
Stresemanns Maneuver Act I
Stresemanns Maneuver Act II
The Problem of Projected Rationality
How Roosevelt Read Hitler
Le Duan Prepares for America
The Benefits of Escalation
When the Past Misleads
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actions ADAP aggressive Ambassador American escalation Amritsar analysis argued assessment attacks believed Berlin Britain British Brockdorff-Rantzau Chicherin conflict continuity heuristic COSVN Crowe’s December decision-making diplomatic Dodd Duan Duan’s Dyer Dyer’s enemy enemy’s forces Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister foreign policy Führer future Gandhi Germany’s Gustav Stresemann Hanoi historians Hitler ideology intelligence intentions Jamal Kadeesha Kennan Kien Dang Krestinski Kristallnacht Le Duan Le Duc Tho Locarno Marc Trachtenberg Marshall Mein Kampf ment Moscow nation Nazi Nguyen Nguyen Van Linh numbers Office one’s opponents Party leaders Party’s past behavior pattern breaks peace Pleiku Politburo political predict President Princeton protracted rearmament recognized regime Reichstag Reichswehr relations revealed revolution Röhm Roosevelt Russia Scheidemann Secretary Sima Yi South Vietnam southern communists Soviet Union Stalin statesmen strategic empathy Stresemann tegic theory threat tion Tonkin troops underlying drivers Union’s United University Press Vietnamese York