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The Little Book: That Still Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt

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Chapter 8. Chapter Eight

I ADMIT IT. My knowledge of history is a little fuzzy.[9] I guess I should have listened better in class. But there's one part of our history that has always baffled me. I never really understood how we won the Revolutionary War. Here we were, these 13 little colonies, up against the strongest country in the world. England had the best navy, the mightiest army, the most money, and yet our scrappy little ragtag group of soldiers pulled out a victory! How'd that happen? Well, I have a theory. Given my limited knowledge, I don't know whether my theory has been extensively studied. But the way I see it, we won because we were fighting a bunch of complete idiots!

After all, the British strategy left a lot to be desired. On one side, you had British soldiers standing in plain sight, perfectly lined up, wearing, of all things, bright red coats, while shooting in unison! I'm sure it looked quite nice. On the other side, you had our guys, a messy, disorganized hodgepodge of soldiers, hiding behind rocks and trees, shooting back at a bunch of conveniently arranged bright red targets! No wonder we won!

But here's the part I don't get. I can't imagine this was the first time the British fought like that. In other words, despite what I think, the British way of fighting must have actually worked in the past. My only question is—how? For all I know, they'd been doing it that way for hundreds of years and apparently—whether it makes sense to me or not—with a great deal of ...

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