The Art of War: Sun Zi's Military Methods

Columbia University Press
2,517
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Compiled during the Warring States period of 475-221 B.C.E., The Art of War has had an enormous impact on the development of Chinese military strategy over the past two thousand years and occupies an important place in East Asian intellectual history. It is the first known attempt to formulate a rational basis for the planning and conduct of military operations, and while numerous editions of the work exist, Victor Mair's translation is the first to remain true to the original structure and essential style of the text.

Mair's fidelity to the original, along with his insightful commentary and reliance on archaeologically recovered manuscripts, breaks new ground in solving The Art of War's difficult textual and contextual problems. He confronts complex questions concerning the authorship of the work, asserting that Sun Wu, a supposed strategist of the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 B.C.E.) to whom the text is traditionally attributed, never existed. Instead, Mair claims that The Art of War coalesced over a period of around seventy-five years, from the middle of the fourth century to the first quarter of the third century B.C.E.

Mair also reveals the way The Art of War reflects historical developments in technological and military strategy in civilizations throughout Eurasia, especially in regards to iron metallurgy. He demonstrates the close link between the philosophy in The Art of War and Taoism and discusses the reception of the text from the classical period to today. Finally, Mair highlights previously unaddressed stylistic and statistical aspects and includes philological annotations that present new ways of approaching the intellectual and social background of the work. A phenomenal achievement, Mair's comprehensive translation is an indispensable resource for today's students, strategists, and scholars.

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About the author

Victor Mair is a graduate of Dartmouth College, the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and Harvard University. He is professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania and is the founder and editor of Sino-Platonic Papers, an academic journal that examines diverse aspects of Chinese language, script, and culture, paying particular attention to historical relationships with other societies in Eurasia. For the past two decades, he has led a major international investigation of the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age peoples of Eastern Central Asia, a project that has resulted in numerous publications and several films. His Columbia books include The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature and The Columbia History of Chinese Literature.

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3.8
2,517 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Columbia University Press
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Published on
Jan 5, 2008
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780231508537
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Eastern
Social Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Erling Hoh
A lively and beautifully illustrated history of one of the world's favorite beverages and its uses through the ages. World-renowned sinologist Victor H. Mair teams up with journalist Erling Hoh to tell the story of this remarkable beverage and its uses, from ancient times to the present, from East to West.

For the first time in a popular history of tea, the Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and Mongolian annals have been thoroughly consulted and carefully sifted. The resulting narrative takes the reader from the jungles of Southeast Asia to the splendor of the Tang and Song Dynasties, from the tea ceremony politics of medieval Japan to the fabled tea and horse trade of Central Asia and the arrival of the first European vessels in Far Eastern waters.

Through the centuries, tea has inspired artists, enhanced religious experience, played a pivotal role in the emergence of world trade, and triggered cataclysmic events that altered the course of humankind. How did green tea become the national beverage of Morocco? And who was the beautiful Emma Hart, immortalized by George Romney in his painting The Tea-maker of Edgware Road? No other drink has touched the daily lives of so many people in so many different ways.

The True History of Tea brings these disparate aspects together in an entertaining tale that combines solid scholarship with an eye for the quirky, offbeat paths that tea has strayed upon during its long voyage. It celebrates the common heritage of a beverage we have all come to love, and plays a crucial part in the work of dismantling that obsolete dictum: East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.
Victor H. Mair
In The Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular Literature, two of the world's leading sinologists, Victor H. Mair and Mark Bender, capture the breadth of China's oral-based literary heritage. This collection presents works drawn from the large body of oral literature of many of China's recognized ethnic groups—including the Han, Yi, Miao, Tu, Daur, Tibetan, Uyghur, and Kazak—and the selections include a variety of genres. Chapters cover folk stories, songs, rituals, and drama, as well as epic traditions and professional storytelling, and feature both familiar and little-known texts, from the story of the woman warrior Hua Mulan to the love stories of urban storytellers in the Yangtze delta, the shaman rituals of the Manchu, and a trickster tale of the Daur people from the forests of the northeast. The Cannibal Grandmother of the Yi and other strange creatures and characters unsettle accepted notions of Chinese fable and literary form. Readers are introduced to antiphonal songs of the Zhuang and the Dong, who live among the fantastic limestone hills of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region; work and matchmaking songs of the mountain-dwelling She of Fujian province; and saltwater songs of the Cantonese-speaking boat people of Hong Kong. The editors feature the Mongolian epic poems of Geser Khan and Jangar; the sad tale of the Qeo family girl, from the Tu people of Gansu and Qinghai provinces; and local plays known as "rice sprouts" from Hebei province. These fascinating juxtapositions invite comparisons among cultures, styles, and genres, and expert translations preserve the individual character of each thrillingly imaginative work.
Erling Hoh
A lively and beautifully illustrated history of one of the world's favorite beverages and its uses through the ages. World-renowned sinologist Victor H. Mair teams up with journalist Erling Hoh to tell the story of this remarkable beverage and its uses, from ancient times to the present, from East to West.

For the first time in a popular history of tea, the Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and Mongolian annals have been thoroughly consulted and carefully sifted. The resulting narrative takes the reader from the jungles of Southeast Asia to the splendor of the Tang and Song Dynasties, from the tea ceremony politics of medieval Japan to the fabled tea and horse trade of Central Asia and the arrival of the first European vessels in Far Eastern waters.

Through the centuries, tea has inspired artists, enhanced religious experience, played a pivotal role in the emergence of world trade, and triggered cataclysmic events that altered the course of humankind. How did green tea become the national beverage of Morocco? And who was the beautiful Emma Hart, immortalized by George Romney in his painting The Tea-maker of Edgware Road? No other drink has touched the daily lives of so many people in so many different ways.

The True History of Tea brings these disparate aspects together in an entertaining tale that combines solid scholarship with an eye for the quirky, offbeat paths that tea has strayed upon during its long voyage. It celebrates the common heritage of a beverage we have all come to love, and plays a crucial part in the work of dismantling that obsolete dictum: East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.
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