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The Seven Military Classics Of Ancient China (History and Warfare) Paperback – November 6, 2007
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From Library Journal
- D.E. Showalter, U.S. Air Force Acad., Colorado Springs
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
1) T'ai Kung's Six Secret Teachings
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Hope that helps.
My one complaint about this book is that it uses the Wade-Giles transliteration rather than Pinyin, which is what everyone, including China, is using. Wade-Giles is now over 35 years outmoded, and can be very confusing for the uninitiated. Compare Ssu-ma I (Wade-Giles) with Sima Yi (Pinyin). Would you know that they're the same bloke? (If you do, bravo.) I assume this speaks to the age of the translation rather than an editorial choice, but it's pretty annoying that they didn't update it.
If you think you might like this book, but want more of a story than essays/discourses, I recommend 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms.' It's very long, but well-loved in most regions of Asia, and with good reason. Also, search for Zhuge Liang's commentary on 'The Art of War.' It's all on Amazon.
Regarding the first issue, Sawyer has done a superb job in both his translation, and in his historical research. The prose is easy to read and understand, but the essential, almost poetic, essence of the original language has not been sacrificed. Furthermore, each piece is prefaced by a brief, but detailed, overview of the work including a biography of the author, or possible authors, and a synopsis of the historical context in which the work was created. In addition, the book is heavily footnoted, which allows the reader to fully comprehend each piece, without the primary texts being chopped up.
Regarding the second angle, I was genuinely astonished by how pertinent theses works are to modern military thinking. For such primitive (chronologically, not intellectually) works, they do a superb job of capturing the key elements of strategic thinking: maneuver, logistics, terrain, combined arms and command hierarchy. Moreover, they are extremely sophisticated in their consideration of Grand Strategy and the mobilization of the population. While these works are by no means a blue print for a modern army (the codes of conduct are draconian, to say the least), they undoubtedly provide a framework for the analysis/planning of modern operations.
This is truly a superb work that captures both the philosophical and the practical aspects of some of the most ancient books on the planet. Furthermore, it is a fascinating look at ancient Chinese history. It is truly a must read for anyone interested in military theory or international relations, particularly with China once again ascendant on the world stage.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Scholarly and well translated.Published 10 months ago by william wilson,william wilson,william wilson,willi
Great, but you must order "The art of War" for the complete book....Published 12 months ago by Paul F Gillis
Excellent --- arrived in great condition --- as advertised. Thank youPublished 21 months ago by Bomberpilot13