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Sun Tzu Art of War

 

 

Sun Tzu's Art of War has been a "best selling" book for 2,500 years.  It was written during the warring states period of China around 500 B.C. when Chinese kingdoms fought each other on a frequent basis.  Sun Tzu's Art of War, which was originally written on bamboo strips, became a treasure of leaders throughout China and the rest of the world.

 

Sun Tzu himself may or may not have been the great general many ascribe to the person.  Aside from the Art of War itself, very little information exists about his actual military exploits.  In this author's opinion, Sun Tzu did exist as an individual, and probably held some degree of rank, but not necessarily the rank of a top general.  This opinion is based on the career patterns that such military geniuses of late, to include Col. John Boyd, Col. David Hackworth, and the historical Machiavelli, who also wrote a book titled The Art of War, experienced.  Such highly talented individuals usually do not rise to the general level, often times because they are "too good" at how they think to go along with the conventional wisdom.  If a talented military genius like Sun Tzu was able to reach the top, say comparatively like Napoleon or France or Shaka from the African Zulu nations, we would likely see more about Sun Tzu in the historical Chinese records beyond the Art of War.   

 

Regarding the text of Sun Tzuís Art of War, the pattern of thought presented in Sun Tzu's Art of War does show a consistency indicative of a single author, which lends credence to Sun Tzuís existence as an individual.  Whether the Art of War's author was actually Sun Tzu or a student of Sun Tzu remains an open to question, however.  The reference to "Sun Tzu says," throughout the text is indicative of the work being written by a third party author or perhaps by a dictation from Sun Tzu himself.

 

The Art of War is presented in 13 chapters but seems to end at the close of chapter 12.  Based on this ending at chapter 12, and conceptual differences between the Art of War chapters 1 through 12 and chapter 13, the chapter on spies, this author believes that chapter 13 was a later addition to Sun Tzu's Art of War.  That is not to say that anyone other than Sun Tzu wrote chapter 13, but that it was added to the Art of War because the importance of spies was not thoroughly covered in the Art of War without the addition.  Certainly authors more recent than Sun Tzu have added chapters to later additions of their books.

 

For more information on Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War, see www.artofwarsuntzu.com.

 

 Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War presents an interpretation of the Art of War that gets to the bottom of what Sun Tzu's philosophies mean.  It presents quotes from Sun Tzu and puts them into context with Sun Tzu's Taoist philosophical base and an underlying set of six principles that underlie the Art of War.  Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War addresses the most important step on using Sun Tzu philosophies and Sun Tzu's Art of War which is to first understand Sun Tzu and his Art of War.

 

 

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