The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers. Where The Art of War, by Sun Tzu is written as an overview of the whole topic of strategy, seeking to provide an overall understanding of the subject; and The 36 Strategies tries to impart the knack of strategic thinking through 36 maxims related to well known Chinese folk stories, Mr. Greene focuses on how we influence and manipulate one another, ie "power".
Mr. Greene draws from both Eastern and Western history and literature as his source material. Sun Tzu and Machiavelli as cited as much as wonderful stories of famous con men. Among my favorites is about a scrap metal dealer thinking he bought the Eiffel Tower.
Each of the 48 Laws carries many examples, along with counter examples where it is appropriate that they be noted, and even reversals.
It is a very thorough study of the subject and the hardback version is beautifully produced.
One of the things I admire about Greene is that he not only studied strategy, he applied what he learned to his own situation and prospered.
People tend to open up ... and say too much to people whom they like. Knowledge is power.
For more, visit: http://48laws-of-power.blogspot.com/2011/05/law-14-pose-as-friend-work-as-spy.html