The Art of War was written over 2,300 years ago in what is now North China. Yet it still remains a contemporary lesson on how to attain victory without going to battle. Modern-day warriors find its ancient strategies helpful regardless of whether the conflict dwells in the boardroom or the bedroom. Despite numerous references to enemies, generals, and armies, The Art of War is about nonaggression. At its core, The Art of War offers a sophisticated lesson on "taking whole," meaning staying openhearted and relaxed in order to sidestep a fight--whether you are a field commander, a CEO, or a frustrated mother putting a resistant son to bed. This particular translation comes from the Denma Translation Group, led by scholars Kidder Smith and James Gimian (publisher of Shambhala Sun magazine). Because of the text's obscure wording (even the Chinese find the original document cumbersome), the translators have inserted helpful commentary that removes some of the linguistic barriers. --Gail Hudson
Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is right before us at all times. The key to skillful action in any situation is in knowing those things that make up the environment and then arranging them so that their power becomes available to us. It is not necessary to change the nature of things to come to victory. Crucial to Sun Tzu's vision is knowledge—especially self-knowledge—and a view of the whole that seeks to bring the conflicting views around to a vision of the larger perspective. This translation preserves the enigmatic quality of the original text, while the accompanying line-by-line commentary and essay reveal the full implications of Sun Tzu's teachings and how they can be applied practically to a broader spectrum of situations. The Shambhala Library is a series of exquisitely designed and produced cloth editions of the world's spiritual and literary classics, both ancient and modern. Perfect for collecting or as gifts, each volume features a sewn binding, decorative endsheets, and a ribbon marker—a delightful-to-hold 4 ¼ x 6 ¾ trim size.
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