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The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  264 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The Seven Military Classics is one of the most profound studies of warfare ever written. It presents us with an Eastern tradition of strategic thought that emphasizes outwitting one’s opponent through speed, stealth, flexibility, and a minimum of force—an approach very different from that stressed in the West, where the advantages of brute strength have overshadowed more s ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Basic Books (first published 1993)
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The name Sun Tzu has gained a celebrity's prominence. His terse epigrams on military strategy are marketed and eagerly bought by staff officers, ambitious businessmen, and sports coaches. This continuing popularity is not restricted to America - I saw his books prominently displayed in South Korea and Hong Kong as well, and there are historical examples for its use in Japan and Vietnam.

Sun Tzu is only part of a broader corpus of texts which were anthologized in the 11th century as part of the Se
Seven venerable Chinese treatises on strategy and war

The parallels between business and warfare evoke images of brilliant generals leading armies and brilliant CEOs leading businesses. Platoons battle and businesses compete with bold, wily strategies and superior execution. Given these similarities, do the classic sagas of seven ancient Chinese military strategists have insight and wisdom that might benefit today’s business leaders? For the answer, read the “translator’s introductions” that open
Troy Rodgers
The books contained in this set are: T’ai Kung Liu-t’ao (Six Secret Teachings), The Methods of Ssu-ma Fa, Sun-tzu Ping-fa (Art of War), Wu-tzu, Wei Liao-tzu, Huang Shih-kung San-lueh (Three Strategies), and Questions and Replies between T'ang T'ai-tsung and Li Wei-kung. The more you understand Confucian thought and its impact on Chinese statecraft, the more incredible and terrifying these works become when you consider what might have been without Confucius.

For those approaching this book withou
Alex Lee
For most of recorded history, China has housed the largest human population. Combined with the very fertile land of the area, and its relative connectedness (Europe in comparison, had many mountains and small areas connecting it, causing populations to form in related but relative autonomy), Chinese civilization gave rise to hugely bureaucratic institutions that helped perpetuate its monolithic political system. As such, the military might of empire building has given rise to a variety of teachi ...more
Kriegsführung ist die wichtigste Angelegenheit des Staates

Das vorliegende Werk ist eine Zusammenstellung einiger der wichtigsten Militärklassiker des alten China. "Die Kunst des Krieges" von Sunzi, der wohl bekannteste Text aus dieser Gruppe von Militärhandbüchern, hat auch heute noch eine enorme Anziehungskraft auf Leserschichten jedweder Couleur. Doch Sunzi steht nicht in einem Vakuum - gerade die Zeit der chinesischen Geschichte vor der Reichseinigung durch die Qin-Dynastie hat einige ähnlich
Ralph Sawyer presents here in English complete translations of the Seven Military Classics of Ancient China: Jiang Ziya (Taigong)'s Six Secret Teachings, The Methods of the Sima, Sun Zi's The Art of War, Wu Qi's Wuzi, Wei Liaozi, Three Strategies of Huang Shigong and Questions and Replies between Tang Taizong and Li Weigong. While the Art of War by Sun Zi is the best known of the seven, the other six are also interesting and valuable resources for understanding Chinese military thought and its r ...more
Rowena Tylden-Pattenson
It took me a long time to finish this, not only for the fact I’ve had a lot of uni work to contend with… some of the texts are just very heavy going. However, it has to be expected with these sorts of things. Very interesting to read though!
I especially liked some of the texts earlier on in the book; those near the end got a bit heavier going, or it might just have been my interest waning. After a couple, they sort of start to sound quite similar, so it’s not as much new information to process.

If you like eastern philosophy and Military history this is the book for you. It includes the classic Art of War. It's a big book so not for the faint of heart.
Good book and the introductions to each of the classics better prepares the reader for what is to come. The one thing missing, which can be found in other manuscripts on ancient Chinese texts, especially Sun Tzu, is there are no Chinese symbols and their literal translations; just nitpicking with that though.
This is a great book for anyone who enjoys ancient Chinese military doctrine, or any military doctrine publications for that matter. It gives several works that are not generally advertised along side of typical mainstream publications. I definitely recommend this book.
Got this to listen to The Art of War by Sun Tzu. I greatly enjoyed it, but had to listen twice to ensure I was clear on the teachings. I feel like I will be revisiting this again in the future.
Jan 06, 2015 JinHo added it
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Extremely interesting from a Historical, Political and Military point of view!
I'll get through this eventually...
An interesting and enlightening read.
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“The Sage accords with it and models himself on Heaven and Earth. Thus when the realm is well ordered, his benevolence and sagacity are hidden. When All under Heaven are in turbulence, his benevolence and sagacity flourish. This is the true Tao.” 1 likes
“First, accord with what he likes in order to accommodate his wishes. He will eventually grow arrogant and invariably mount some perverse affair. If you can appear to follow along, you will certainly be able to eliminate him.
"Second, become familiar with those he loves in order to fragment his awesomeness. When men have two different inclinations, their loyalty invariably declines. When his court no longer has any loyal ministers, the state altars will inevitably be endangered.
"Third, covertly bribe his assistants, fostering a deep relationship with them. While they will bodily stand in his court, their emotions will be directed outside it. The state will certainly suffer harm.
"Fourth, assist him in his licentiousness and indulgence in music in order to dissipate his will. Make him generous gifts of pearls and jade, and ply him with beautiful women. Speak deferentially, listen respectfully, follow his commands, and accord with him in everything. He will never imagine you might be in conflict with him. Our treacherous measures will then be settled.”
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