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On Guerrilla Warfare Paperback – September 21, 2000
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Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Mao Zedong was born in Hunan Province in 1893, son of an impoverished peasant. In October 1949, he founded the People's Republic of China, which he led until his death in 1976. Willis Barnstone is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, the author of many books, and a noted translator.
The late Samuel B. Griffith was a Brigadier General and served during World War II with the United States Marines. He is the author of The Battle for Guadalcanal and the editor and translator of Mao Tse-Tung: "On Guerilla War."
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm struck how short that chapter is on guerrilla wars in history. Mao was widely read in Chinese and world history and it would have been his style to display this knowledge in a work like this had he chosen to do so.
Perhaps Americans should not think of themselves as only at the receiving end of guerrillas. Washington learned this kind of fighting during the French and Indian Wars, and he put some of this experience to good use against a British army better armed, better trained, and greater in numbers than the Continentals. He exploited geography, made surprise raids, used mobility and patience to wear out the red coats - all hallmarks of guerrillas. The all-important Battle of Trenton was such kind of unconventional warfare: an Indian raid, essentially. But it sure got results. Regular or conventional battles like Yorktown only came later, when British impatience was at the breaking point. As Franklin had predicted, the British could and did occupy all the towns - including Philadelphia, New York, and Charleston - up and down the eastern coast but they could not hold onto them. (The comparison with Iraq is irresistible. The redcoats never numbered more than 30,000 or so men, fighting among 2.5 million American civilians.Read more ›
This book, in conjunction with Ho Chi Min's writings on the use of guerrilla warfare, is the absolute basic understanding of the Viet Nam War from back BEFORE the French Foreign Legion were fighting for their colony. EVERYTHING, and I do mean EVERYTHING, in this book is used in the fight against the French right up to Dien Bien Phue, and continued up until the fall of Saigon in 1975. EVERYTHING. Why did America lose the Viet Nam War? Read this. How could America have been so wrong to back Ho Chi Min, Chaing Chi Chek, and Kim Il Song, in the Second World War? Read this.
You will say, "Wow" many times throughout the book, and in the end you will ask, "When was this first printed? How the bleep could we have been so wrong?"
Mao stresses the importance of speed, surprise, and initiative in guerrilla war. Among the most interesting sections of the book is a code of conduct for guerrilla fighters. Most of the book is fairly dry and matter-of-fact, but there are welcome flashes of passion, poetic imagery, and global vision that make this more than just a textbook. Translator Griffith notes that Mao's text was first published in 1937. Despite the passage of time, I believe that this is still a relevant text, and I recommend it in particular to all professional military personnel.
After atomic weapons came along, conventional warfare became a lot costlier to nuclear nations. This made guerrilla the kind of “low key” conflict that defined the 20th century, and promises to continue to shape the 21th. What the preface shows is how guerrilla it is a lot more powerful that one may think.
“It is often said that guerrilla warfare is primitive. This generalization is dangerously misleading and true only in the technological sense. If one considers the picture as a whole, a paradox is immediately apparent, and the primitive form is understood to be in fact more sophisticated than nuclear war or atomic war or war as it was waged by conventional armies, navies, and air forces. Guerrilla war is not dependent for success on the efficient operation of complex mechanical devices, highly organized logistical systems, or the accuracy of electronic computers. It can be conducted in any terrain, in any climate, in any weather; in swamps, in mountains, in farmed fields. Its basic element is man, and man is more complex than any of his machines. He is endowed with intelligence, emotions, and will. Guerrilla warfare is therefore suffused with, and reflects, man’s admirable qualities as well as his less pleasant ones. While it is not always humane, it is human, which is more than can be said for the strategy of extinction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book for people into military history but extremely dry.Published 6 days ago by Jeffrey Jagodzinski
Bargain price, fast delivery, excellent product. I am very pleased.Published 1 month ago by J. Estes
Mao really out does himself in this bush whacking guide to insurgency and small war tactics which when waged well, provide large war strategic outcomes - spoiler alert - spoiler -... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bw Schulz
I was surprised by the attractive ideology of fightinh for freedom in Mao's thought (through geurrilla warfare), but what Mao did to China is a crime against humanity. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dstreymr
This is really a pamphlet, but it covers the basics.
Most of the differences between Maoist thought and classical Marxism
were still being worked out at the time it was... Read more
One of the best Mao Zedong books of all time! It's all about the application of the Marxist theorems in the REAL revolution of the masses!Published 5 months ago by Kenneth
This book showcased Mao's skill in military strategem.. His second best work after the little red book!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really admire the courage of this man.. from driving the Kuomintangs out of China, to winning the hearts of CHINA! Great book!Published 7 months ago by tonya