The Art of War by Sunzi

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The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician, and it was believed to have been compiled during the late Spring and Autumn period or early Warring States period. The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It has been the most famous and influential of China s Seven Military Classics, and for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name. It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond. The book was first translated into the French language in 1772 by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot and a partial translation into English was attempted by British officer Everard Ferguson Calthrop in 1905. The first annotated English language translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in 1910, which forms the basis of this edition.

About Sunzi

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Sun Tzu, also known as Sun Wu or Sunzi, was an ancient Chinese military strategist believed to be the author of the acclaimed military text, The Art of War. Details about Sun Tzu's background and life are uncertain, although he is believed to have lived c. 544-496 BCE. Through The Art of War, Sun Tzu's theories and strategies have influenced military leaders and campaigns throughout time, including the samurai of ancient and early-modern Japan, and more recently Ho Chi Minh of the Viet Cong and American generals Norman Swarzkopf, Jr. and Colin Powell during the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s. Lionel Giles used the Wade-Giles Romanization method of translation, pioneered by his father, Herbert Giles. Like many Victorian-era sinologists, he was primarily interested in Chinese literature, which Victorians approached as a branch of classics. Victorian sinologists contributed greatly to problems of textual transmission of the classics. The following quote shows Giles' attitude to the problem identifying the authors of ancient works like the Lieh Tzu, the Chuang Tzu and the Tao Te Ching: The extent of the actual mischief done by this "Burning of the Books " has been greatly exaggerated. Still, the mere attempt at such a holocaust gave a fine chance to the scholars of the later Han dynasty (A.D. 25-221), who seem to have enjoyed nothing so much as forging, if not the whole, at any rate portions, of the works of ancient authors. Some one even produced a treatise under the name of Lieh Tzu, a philosopher mentioned by Chuang Tzu, not seeing that the individual in question was a creation of Chuang Tzu's brain! Continuing to produce translations of Chinese classics well into the later part of his life, he confessed to a friend that he was a "Taoist at heart, and I can well believe it, since he was fond of a quiet life, and was free of that extreme form of combative scholarship which seems to be the hall mark of most Sinologists.
Published May 17, 2012 by Barnes & Noble Classics. 155 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, War, Law & Philosophy, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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The quotation cards are particularly helpful for applying Sun Tzu's teachings to broad situations, and for helping readers imagine themselves as ""the sage commander."" In addition to a full translation of Sun Tzu's classic, the book also offers three essays on its interpretation.

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Project MUSE

Mair also discusses the place Sunzi Bingfa holds in the Daoist canon, briefly explaining historical and intellectual connections between the two.

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Project MUSE

Professor Mair’s great strength is in treating the text of the Sunzi as a text, and fully developing and explaining the history of the work in relation to recent archaeological finds.

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