China is ever-important on the global stage as the world's second-largest and most populous country. Up-to-date and written with warmth, eloquence, and authority, Culture and Customs of China will be a popular source for students and the interested reader seeking to understand the modern people and culture in the context of an ancient history.
RICHARD GUNDE is the assistant director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was the associate editor of the journal Modern China for more than 20 years.
As with other classics, many of its themes are timeless and quotations from the work can be meaningful apart from the thousands of years which separate us from the time and place of its creation.
The present work is a new edition based on the original translation of James Legge. The 19th century English prose of Legge is awkward to our modern ears, and slows down our reading and appreciation of this classic.
The Art of War is not a long book, but historically it has always been sold along with hundreds of pages of introduction, commentary, and analysis. More often than not that commentary itself is hard to understand, as much of it is hundreds or thousands of years old, and translated into the same awkward English prose.
This modern edition is meant to communicate the authentic essence and meaning of this work in modern, accessible English prose, focusing only on what can be clearly conveyed and understood, and jettisoning the rest.