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When Robert Cantrell left Duke University for a tour with the 101st Airborne Division, he made a promise to his creative writing professor that he would take his writing to the next level. His opening fulfillment of that promise is a book titled Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War that has already earned a place on the curriculum of the National Defense University in Washington D.C.

Robert is a consummate strategist whose company, Center for Advantage, trains and consults on matters of competitive and innovation strategy.  He particular expertise involves how to make the complex easy to understand.  Robert has written numerous business and legal papers to include the internationally recognized “Six Angles of Competition” published by Wiley & Sons through the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals.  Prior to starting his own company, Robert worked for IBM/ROLM, Dean Witter, Thomson Information, and Manning & Napier.

Robert believes the key to achieving success in any effort where people interact rests with the story presented to the listeners, and that this is true whether the dealing with fiction or non-fiction, books or live presentations.  In 2001, Roberts belief in the importance of the story led him to the unique, for him, position of weaving through traffic in Hollywood to delivery a proposed manuscript to literary agency, AEI, at an appointed time.  Prior to that, his work had been strictly business.

Robert’s passion is to be involved with the events of the day, and that has kept him in the Washington D.C. area despite a second passion for underwater photography. Ever the opportunist, however, Robert’s scuba equipment has followed him along on business trips as far away as Tokyo. “Why just get a contract when you can cap it off with photos of a blue whale?” He enjoys a beach, a sunset, and a drink as much as anyone, but enjoys them all the more with a notebook or camera in hand.

Book Description

Sun Tzu on the Art of War, an ancient Chinese treatise on military strategy, is now required reading at military, business, and law schools in the United States and around the world.  Possibly no book in history better describes how to win conflicts in any profession.  Those who practice conflict resolution frequently use Sun Tzu’s philosophies as the cornerstone of their ways.

Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War explores the meaning of Sun Tzu’s philosophies through the use of high impact case examples, most involving American or British military forces.  While also presenting strategic tools for use in any professional conflict, this book never lets readers forget that the original Chinese text is about war.  For those with an interest in current military events, this book provides fertile ground for discussion on coalition war methods and aims.  For all professions, military or otherwise, this book gets to the heart of efficient conflict resolution theory.  Topics discussed include:

INTRODUCTION – A brief history of Sun Tzu on the Art of War and  the underlying Taoist philosophy from which it was written

WINNING WHOLE – How to win with your resources and your objective intact

LEADING TO ADVANTAGE – How to prepare and position your soldiers for victory

DECEPTION – How to keep your intentions secret from opponents

ENERGY – How to apply force effectively and efficiently

STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES – How to find the best path to the goal

INITIATIVE – How to take and keep the advantage

SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR – A complete translation

CONCLUSION – Philosophical significance of Sun Tzu on the Art of War in conflict resolution   

Book Reviews

Heartland Reviews

As a retired military intelligence professional and conflict theorist, I must say this is the best interpretation of Sun Tzu’s classic work I have read. The author focuses on the meanings behind this ancient Chinese war philosopher’s writings. He puts them into a modern context, making them easy to understand. Apparently the Department of Defense agrees with me on this, since they have selected Mr. Cantrell’s book as a text for the National War College in Washington DC. This is a must read for all military officers and business leaders. It rated a perfect five hearts.

Bob Spear

Publisher and Chief Reviewer

Midwest Book Reviews (Reviewer's Choice Selection)

Robert L. Cantrell's Understanding Sun Tzu On The Art Of War contains both the complete translated text of Sun Tzu's enduring classic on battle strategy, and a modern-day interpretation packed with advice on leadership, learning to keep one's intentions a secret from one's opponents, leveraging advantages as the key to victory, and a great deal more. An excellent resource for anyone seeking self-improvement through internalizing Sun Tzu's wisdom, Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War is thoughtful and thought-provoking reading of the highest order.

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