The School of Sun Tzu: Winning Empires Without War

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9781469769127: The School of Sun Tzu: Winning Empires Without War
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In The School of Sun Tzu, author David G. Jones offers a voyage of discovery into the world of competition and conflict. It presents fresh thought on how issue management without conflict can be applied in today's complex world.

The School of Sun Tzu carefully examines and defines the Tao Te Ching/Ping-fa relationship, the period and context within which they were created, and what use they were intended to serve. It studies the theories and practices that helped found China and reveals the great achievements of China's first empire as well as the revisionist conspiracy that characterized the second. It also includes a thorough examination of how China developed a suite of strategic tools 2,300 years ago to end war and found an empire.

Fusing history, politics, philosophy, and motivational theory, Jones challenges not only conventional wisdom regarding Sun Tzu's Art of War, but even some generally accepted aspects of Chinese history. It offers enlightening insights into a methodology as valid today for relationship management as it was centuries ago.

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About the Author:

David G. Jones is a seasoned author and lecturer, who has long studied the ways that organizations succeed, and fail. He is an advocate of "horizontal" multi-disciplinary approaches to problem definition and solution development. The author has worked in business and in all three levels of government where he continues to serve as a management consultant. David holds an officer's commission in the Canadian Army with service in both infantry and artillery units. He is a Fellow of the University of King's College, and has lectured at Royal Roads University and Athabasca University. In 2002, he was awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal which recognized "Canadians who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or to Canada as a whole". David lives in Ottawa, Canada's capital. He is married to the lovely Ena Gwen, and they have three grown children living in the capital area.

Review:

Pacific Book Review

The School of Sun Tzu: Winning Empires Without War is a historical look at the real story behind the Sun Tzu’s iconic book, The Art of War. David G. Jones has written a book that will give readers insight into history, business, and philosophy.

The School of Sun Tzu details the true story behind the philosophical book The Art of War. The book is about how to overcome challenges through mental combat has been an inspiration for everyone from CEO’S to hip-hop artists. Jones writes about how Tzu was influenced by China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Huang was a powerful ruler who built an empire based on many philosophies that Tzu is celebrated for today. Jones writes extensively about even the title of the book The Art of War is wrongly interpreted. Jones argues that The Art of War should be interpreted as “the art of managing organizations and relations between organizations.”

The School of Sun Tzu not only tells the history of these conflicting strategies, but also how the beliefs in the book affect business today. Jones expertly writes about businesses having adapted Tzu’s ways of mentally defeating an opponent. Many corporations have adapted the philosophy that “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” The book is thoroughly researched with source material from business and military texts to back up Jones’ salient points. Jones also analyzes The Art of War with academic research as an experienced author and military expert. While Jones’ writing is very academic, he also deftly brings the ancient history of The Art of War into the present with his examples of how the book influences businesses and military organizations. His writing is a mixture of esoteric and relatable.

The School of Sun Tzu would be ideal for readers who are fans of The Art of War. The book would be insightful for fans who want the story behind the legendary book. Readers who want to learn more about Chinese history would also benefit from reading The School of Sun Tzu. Additionally, this book would be best for business owners who want to learn how to outsmart opponents. The School of Sun Tzu could be given to entrepreneurs in business meetings or to military leaders that need more information on how to mentally prepare for battle. Jones has written a book that will engross readers in undiscovered history and educate them on the untold story of The Art of War.

The US Review of Books:

"Because Ping-fa is intentionally, and delightfully, metaphorical, the messages need to be ferreted out, tasted, and tested."

Many people have heard of the classic Chinese text The Art of War by Sun Tzu and may also be somewhat familiar with the way in which our society tends to twist its messages of troop deployment and terrain navigation into some sort of business strategy. The author of this examination of Sun Tzu lays forth a compelling argument that much of what we understand about this ancient text is colored by mistranslations, commentaries of existing erroneous commentaries, and even revisionist histories of China’s first empire. Re-examining this classic work of Chinese literature and understanding it as a series of educational metaphors rather than literal pieces of advice allow it to appear as a tool for cooperation rather than conquering and sheds a whole new light on what so many people claim to understand.

Demonstrating a profound understanding not only of the original text but of many of the most popular translations and commentaries of The Art of War, the author provides these with equal time while also offering his interpretations as well as an analysis of what others have gleaned from the text. This helpful approach allows readers to apply the author’s perspective to the translated text and then see how it sizes up to other interpretations in the voluminous footnotes. Through the author’s provision of ample history, modern perspectives from books and magazines, and even well-known Chinese parables, readers can get a more complete picture on the realities of not only The Art of War (referred to largely by its untranslated name, Ping-fa) but also of Sun Tzu “himself.” The resulting read is enlightening and challenging to preconceived notions but in a way that makes plenty of sense and allows the reader to create their own conclusions based on their understanding and the compelling evidence put forth by the author.

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