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Sun Tzu and William Lidwell
86 pages (Fall 2006); 741KB downloadWOWIO Books
; ISBN: WOWIO-00010
The Art of War is the most widely read military classic in human history.
In addition to its influence on military leaders — leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, Vo Nguyen Giap, Douglas MacArthur, and Colin Powell claim to have drawn inspiration from the work — the book has been successfully applied to business, sports, and political campaigns.
This newly translated and revised edition is refreshingly concise and specifically designed for modern readers: it is the distilled strategic essence of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, devoid of excessive commentary and notation. Given what is known of Sun Tzu, it is the simple and direct rendering of his philosophy that he desired and intended.
From the Preface:
The present work seeks to provide the reader with the distilled strategic essence of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
Accordingly, no editorial remarks or notes are offered. Contributions by the eleven commentators (Wei Wu Ti, Meng Shih, Li Ch`uan, Tu Yu, Tu Mu, Ch`en Hao, Chia Lin, Mei Sheng-yu, Wang His, Ho Yen-hsi, and Chang Yu) are not included. Hyperbole and obtuse language are avoided. Discussions of period tactics (e.g., chariot fighting, attacks using fire, etc.) are omitted when not generalizable to modern contexts. Redundant passages are consolidated. And, the traditionally inviolable 13-chapter organization is unheeded (see Appendix 2). What remain are Sun Tzu’s thoughts on strategy in their purest form.
This approach will no doubt be objectionable to many fans and scholars of The Art of War, but it is undertaken without apology to either party — there are numerous texts available that employ literal word-for-word translations accompanied by extensive historical and editorial commentary, but precious few that simply present Sun Tzu's ideas with emphasis on their readability and modern application. In fact, in most modern translations, the words of Sun Tzu comprise but a small portion of the total work; the simplicity and concision of Sun Tzu’s prose are overwhelmed in an ironic form of discursive academic warfare. …