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In the first essay, MacDonald concludes that Sun Tzu was probably not an actual person, but perhaps an amalgam of two. The historical analysis is leavened with entertaining anecdote, including one on one of the likely originators of the text, the 6th century BCE Sun Wu. MacDonald admits as such.

Art Of War

But the big question is whether a study of Sun Tzu helps understand contemporary Chinese policy. One can only hope against hope that the American delegation to the on-again, off-again summit with North Korea refers to it rather than The Art of the Deal. Skip to content.

The regulation penalty for failure to carry out clearly expressed orders, Sun solemnly announced, was to be the beheading of the company commanders.

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Peter Gordon is editor of the Asian Review of Books. Post navigation. Search for: Begin typing your search above and press return to search. Press Esc to cancel. Similar analyses could be carried out for other principal concepts in all of the extant military treatises from the Warring States and Han periods. Battle; specific military actions and engagements, in contrast to bing q. Rule the state with uprightness, Deploy your troops with craft Gain all under heaven with noninterference.

When there is no uprightness, correct reverts to crafty, good reverts to gruesome. This chapter addresses the question of responding deftly to contingencies and advises awareness of both the advantages and the disadvantages of any action that might be contemplated. The principle of preparedness is proposed as the surest way to avoid disaster.

Master Sun said, The method of waging war is ordinarily that the general receives a mandate from the ruler, then assembles the army and brings together the masses. He does not encamp on unfavorable terrain; he joins with allies at terrain having a crossroads; he does not linger on forsaken terrain; he devises plans to extricate his forces from surrounded terrain; if he finds himself on desperate terrain he does battle. Therefore, the general who is versed in the advantages 4 of the nine varieties of terrain 5 knows how to wage war; the general who is not versed in the advantages of the nine varieties, although he may know the types of terrain, cannot gain the advantages of the terrain.

For this reason, in his considerations, he who is wise must pay attention both to advantage and to disadvantage. By paying attention to advantage, his affairs will proceed with assurance; by paying attention to disadvantage, his troubles will be resolved.

The Art of War: The New Translation by Sun-Tzu, J H Huang |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

For this reason, that which causes the feudal lords to submit is disadvantage; that which causes the feudal lords to serve is encumbrance; that which causes the feudal lords to give allegiance is advantage. Therefore, there are five fatal flaws in a general: recklessness, for he may be killed by the enemy; timidity, for he may be captured by the enemy; irascibility, for he may be provoked by the enemy; incorruptibility, for he may be insulted by the enemy; solicitousness, for he may be made anxious by the enemy.

In all of these respects, if a general overdoes them, it will be disastrous for waging war. The overthrow of an enemy and the killing of a general are the inevitable consequences of these five fatal flaws. They cannot be left unexamined. Donald Richie, who probably needs no introduction here, has written a nice review of this: Forever passing on ancient secrets of strategy.

The Art Of War

It has been named elegant and brilliant and comes with a full complement of scholarly additions, including an essay on the principles of translation, a guide to pronunciation, lists of key terms and abbreviations, a full precis, copious notes and a complete bibliography but not the trivia mentioned in the paragraphs above this one. That was found in our upturned cornucopia, the Internet. One of the well-realized aims of Victor H. Mair is to return the text its dignity. Now, however, the original flavor is felt….

Lean, clear, all fustian removed, the work is revealed not as military talisman nor as a well of arcane expectations, but rather as a historical product — one quite ready to hold its own when compared with later military authorities such as Niccolo Machiavelli and Carl von Clausewitz. This arouses my curiosity.

Art of War by Sun Tzu full audiobook - Translated by Lionel Giles

Columbia University Press is now offering The Art of War at a substantial discount as part of its spring sale. Your email address will not be published. With the permission of the author and publisher, I offer below two excerpts from this work. OK, now here are the excerpts I promised.


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Key Terms Here are highlighted only several of the more important words and subtle concepts used in the book. Used by permission of Columbia University Press. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.