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The Art of War: Spirituality for Conflict: Annotated & Explained: Annotated and Explained (Skylight Illuminations) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. August 2008


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Forget Sun Tzu, author of the immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy, The Art of War. Move over Confucius, the scholar-official who remains the most prominent and respected philosopher in Chinese history.

The sage in the spotlight of mainland society now is an outsider whose name may not necessarily be familiar despite cinematic exposure. Featured in the 2000 Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator, Marcus Aurelius (AD121-180) was the last of the "Five Good Roman Emperors" and a leading voice in stoic philosophy, which advocated accepting misfortune with virtus - toughness or character.

Aurelius was a reluctant warrior and composed his classic work, Meditations, during campaigns lasting a decade from AD170. It contains a wealth of observations that reflect the stoic perspective and has one prominent admirer: Wen Jiabao. The Premier revealed last year that he had read the masterpiece almost 100 times, spawning a Marcus Aurelius craze that swept the Middle Kingdom and helped propel Meditations to the fifth place in - the admittedly government-backed - China Book International's best-seller list.

Greg Sung, founder of the Hong Kong-based booklovers' network aNobii.com, observes that Wen may exert more cultural influence than a Hollywood "mega-blockbuster": the portrayal of Marcus Aurelius by Richard Harris in Gladiator had less effect on book sales than the Premier's disclosure, Sung claims.

Wen's fascination with the dour, long-dead Roman may stem from a sense of fellowship, according to Russell McNeil, the author of Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: Selections Annotated & Explained. History remembers Aurelius as the proverbial "philosopher king." Likewise, Wen, a geologist by training, has a reputation for being a deft administrator who takes a consensual, collegiate tack.

McNeil describes stoicism as "thoroughly rationalistic," anchored in arguments based on physics and "natural law," which means it squares with communist doctrine, which recognises no god. Better yet, stoicism has a "social," even socialist, slant. It decrees that morality should be based on doing what is right for the community or the state.

"Personal satisfaction or happiness in stoicism does not flow from the gratification of personal desires or the avoidance of hard work or pain," McNeil says.

When our actions stem from self-interest, we transgress. When we discriminate against others, we also err because, again, just like socialism, stoicism tells us we are all part of the proletariat and should treat everyone equally. The king is no better or worse than a pauper, Aurelius teaches, conjuring images of Wen in his famed plain green jacket, looking like a friendly next-door neighbour.

Despite being written on the march, Meditations was "multiethnic and multinational," according to McNeil, who says the true stoic rises above nationalism and sees the world as a single political entity.

Sung, for his part, credits fashion for the book's success on the mainland. He says the attention may have been amplified by a general renewed interest in the work of old masters such as the cryptic poet philosopher Master Zhuang, or Zhuangzi, who famously dreamed about being a butterfly. Hugely popular television lecture programmes on philosophy, hosted by university professors, are stoking the trend, Sung says.

Meditations has, moreover, won the endorsement of Bill Clinton. The former US president features it in his list of his 21 favourite books of all time, among works by the likes of George Orwell and Maya Angelou.

Bonnie Girard, president of business consultancy China Channel, is another fan. Like McNeil, Girard attributes the book's popularity partly to the fact that Aurelius ranks as a thinker but not a preacher. "In many ways," Girard says, "he is the antithesis of a religious or spiritual leader, so in modern Chinese political terms he is safe."

Girard says that Wen, the unflappable "super-mandarin," as characterised by Time magazine, believes people will benefit from absorbing Aurelius' work now especially, because the mainland is in the throes of a spiritual awakening.

Who better to direct the populace than a non-religious philosopher with no implied or actual affiliation to any of the world's great religions, says Girard. She paints Aurelius as a secular "lightning rod" with the power to help fulfil human hunger for answers to big questions.

With the economic boom boosting expectations and widening the wealth gap, Aurelius' robust attitude is an inspiration, Girard adds. "The Chinese respect strength, I believe, more than almost any other human characteristic."

The imperial superman immortalised by a legion of bronze and marble statues showed mercy to his vanquished enemies, battled corruption and slavery and even, like an early human rights agitator, decreed that gladiators fight with blunted weapons. When his empire was short on funds, instead of raising taxes he sold his plentiful belongings.

At home, Aurelius was forced to contend with everything from famine and earthquakes (which have long afflicted China too) to fires and plague. Abroad, he faced threats posed by Germanic tribes to the north and Parthians to the east. In the light of all the aggravation, few other historical figures seem so "battle-tested."

In case anyone doubts his gravitas, his publishers accord Aurelius the kind of reverence allotted the likes of Shakespeare and Socrates as top-tier literary greats. Penguin parades his book in its Great Ideas series devoted to writers who "shook civilisation." Watkins hails it as an inspiration to the best of humanity for almost two millennia. Tarcher calls Aurelius' voice "universal" and "equally recognisable to students of Christ, the Buddha, the Vedas, the Talmud and to anyone who sincerely searches for a way of meaning in contemporary life."

Aurelius' cachet transcends boundaries of ideology and geography.

"How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes," runs a characteristically terse Aurelius maxim.

Whatever their outlook, few readers will be disappointed by his writing given its considerable clarity and punch.--Wen Jiabao ASIA SPECIFIC David Wilson"South China Morning Post" (09/14/2008)

A 2,500-year-old text called "The Art of War" may strike some as an unlikely source of advice for today's business leaders, but Thomas Huynh, EMBA 04, believes that there are valuable lessons to be learned from Sun Tzu s masterpiece. Huynh has recently penned a new translation of the work, titled "The Art of War: Spirituality for Conflict," with the hope that it will bring the Chinese general s message to a wider audience.

Although the ancient document sounds as though it might glorify war, Huynh says it s actually a treatise on peace, offering practical strategies for circumventing and diffusing conflict, whether on the battlefield, in the boardroom or at home. It is required reading for officers in the United States Marine Corps, as well as students at a number of B-schools, because of its innovative, still-relevant strategy for overcoming conflict. Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, who wrote the foreword to Huynh s book, uses its classic principles to manage his company in an often hostile, highly competitive technology industry.

The text itself is a lesson in economy: 13 short chapters comprise "The Art of War," but each is full of important lessons that teach the reader how to avoid conflict and resolve inevitable hostile situations using self-control, intelligence, courage and benevolence. Huynh s annotations alongside the translation offer practical application of Sun Tzu s philosophy.

Huynh enjoys a career in finance as Group Controller for Skyline Steel in Georgia, but has been dedicated to the study of Sun Tzu s masterwork since he encountered the text as a teenager. In 1999 he launched Sonshi.com to provide Web space for authors, scholars and readers to gather and share information about Sun Tzu s timeless approach to conflict resolution.

Says Huynh, "Conflict is part of life, but it is our response to the disagreement that has the greatest effect on our inner peace and personal happiness."--Amy Norton"Vanderbuilt Business Magazine" (10/01/2008)"

Thomas Huynh, a regular reader of this blog and founder of Sonshi.com, has just come out with a new book: "The Art of War" "Spirituality for Conflict."

A lot of leaders have found Sun Tzu's "Art of War" to be instructive in the world of business. Among the principles, written up 2,500 years ago: prevent conflicts before they arise; resolve them when they do; act with courage, intelligence and benevolence in conflict situations; convert potential enemies into friends and control your emotions before they control you.

The book contains a foreword by Marc Benioff of salesforce.com, who credits Larry Ellison of "Oracle Corp." with introducing him to the Chinese military classic. In Benioff's view, the goal of the text was to "teach a disadvantaged person or persons how to shift the balance of power ... how David can topple Goliath." Huynh, who came to the U.S. as a political refugee and now has a site that's the leading resource on Tzu's philosophy, has come up with some insightful commentary to accompany the text. Check it out.--Diane Brady"Business Week Blog" (03/03/2008)"

In the time of a controversial five-year-long war in Iraq, we can gain badly needed wisdom from two of history's greatest warriors.

The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and the Chinese general Sun Tzu can teach us about virtue, peace and philosophy when it seems many want us on a perpetual war footing.

These two military leaders, studied for millennia by both the powerful and the subversive, considered war the worst thing humans could engage in the most cruel, wasteful and mindless.

But, when they had to, they did war well. They may have seen war as a last resort, but when they judged it necessary to keep the peace or protect the state, they engaged in it with devastating efficiency.

Skylight Illuminations, a creative U.S. spiritual book publisher, is bringing the values of these famous Roman and Chinese warriors to a world that needs to more deeply explore the ethics of conflict.

The publisher teamed up with former Malaspina University-College scholar Russell McNeil to produce The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: Selections Annotated and Explained. The revealing book highlights how the Roman emperor embraced Stoic philosophy (a worldview, by the way, highly valued by Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan.)

The related book, The Art of War Spirituality for Conflict: Annotated and Explained, has been put together by U.S. writer Thomas Huynh. The author adapts the advice Sun Tzu offered 2,500 years ago to help today's individuals and leaders resolve conflicts.

Even though Skylight Illuminations didn't promote the books as a package, there are surprising parallels particularly the leaders' emphasis on virtues like courage, self-control, rationality and justice. Although their complex philosophies are not necessarily perfect for us today, it's intriguing these respected figures both believed war was a disgrace, that it should never be entered into without a concern for the common good.

In his commentary, McNeil, who lives on Vancouver Island, builds on Marcus Aurelius' meditations to question the 21st-century "war on terrorism," suggesting if contemporary rulers used "divine" reason the way the wise emperor did they would recognize injustice often breeds such dangerous rage.

For his part, Sun Tzu taught that leaders should never go to war out of greed or revenge, but (like Christians who believe in "just-war theory") should make every diplomatic and strategic effort to avoid armed battle.

Huynh, a Vietnamese refugee, turns Sun Tzu's masterwork on winning into advice on advancing global and personal peace.

The Art of War has been studied by everyone from Latin American revolutionary Che Guevera to retired U.S. general Colin Powell (who speaks in Vancouver June 12.) Huynh maintains Sun Tzu's pragmatic philosophy can prevent conflicts, quickly resolve them if they do arise, promote benevolence in adversarial situations, convert potential enemies into friends and help individuals control their emotions. The latter leads to one of the most striking philosophical parallels between the two warriors.

The Roman emperor, who died in AD 180, and the Chinese general each emphasized "detaching" from one's emotions.

The Art of War, writes Huynh, teaches: "Being ruled by your emotions, exaggerating your strengths, denying your weaknesses and wishful thinking can only lead to catastrophe."

The Roman ruler, McNeil says, also taught that "personal attachments to people or things have little to do with what it means to be human." The Stoics, like Socrates, did not see pain and tragedy as limiting humans' ability to be content.

Even though the emperor's Stoicism veers close to emotional coldness, to limiting empathy for loved ones, McNeil defends it. He particularly values the way Aurelius put ultimate value on reason, or "divine intelligence," over emotion. McNeil compares Stoicism to the "cognitive behavioral therapy" founded by psychologist Albert Ellis.

Like Ellis, the Roman emperor stressed the importance of overriding emotions to make rational choices. Marcus Aurelius criticized those who waited passively for a supernatural God to take care of things.

Even though it's clear Stoicism and Sun Tzu's Art of War can suit tough-minded, ethical generals (and many modern-day athletes), I suspect these two philosophers may be a touch too indifferent to emotions and loving relationships.

I also have trouble with their placing ultimate importance on the state, which, combined with their stress on bravery and self-denial, could lead to unnecessary martyrdom. But these are concerns to study more thoroughly, because these warriors' philosophies are nothing if not subtle.

All in all, it is impressive that when many leaders talk about peace but frequently revert to expensive and destructive military "solutions" these ancient generals can still teach us how to resolve the root causes of all kinds of conflict.--Douglas Todd"The Vancouver Sun" (05/10/2008)"

A 2,500-year-old text called "The Art of War" may strike some as an unlikely source of advice for today's business leaders, but Thomas Huynh, EMBA 04, believes that there are valuable lessons to be learned from Sun Tzu s masterpiece. Huynh has recently penned a new translation of the work, titled "The Art of War: Spirituality for Conflict," with the hope that it will bring the Chinese general s message to a wider audience.

Although the ancient document sounds as though it might glorify war, Huynh says it s actually a treatise on peace, offering practical strategies for circumventing and diffusing conflict, whether on the battlefield, in the boardroom or at home. It is required reading for officers in the United States Marine Corps, as well as students at a number of B-schools, because of its innovative, still-relevant strategy for overcoming conflict. Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, who wrote the foreword to Huynh s book, uses its classic principles to manage his company in an often hostile, highly competitive technology industry.

The text itself is a lesson in economy: 13 short chapters comprise "The Art of War," but each is full of important lessons that teach the reader how to avoid conflict and resolve inevitable hostile situations using self-control, intelligence, courage and benevolence. Huynh s annotations alongside the translation offer practical application of Sun Tzu s philosophy.

Huynh enjoys a career in finance as Group Controller for Skyline Steel in Georgia, but has been dedicated to the study of Sun Tzu s masterwork since he encountered the text as a teenager. In 1999 he launched Sonshi.com to provide Web space for authors, scholars and readers to gather and share information about Sun Tzu s timeless approach to conflict resolution.

Says Huynh, "Conflict is part of life, but it is our response to the disagreement that has the greatest effect on our inner peace and personal happiness."--Amy Norton"Vanderbuilt Business Magazine" (10/01/2008)"

"Instructs us in patience, flexibility, resolve, discernment, skillful means, compassion powerfully effective [strategies] in all our relationships, business and spiritual life. Heartily recommended to all leaders and to anyone seeking peace, deep understanding and reconciliation." Lama Surya Das, author, Awakening the Buddha Within

"Practical and pragmatic guidance with brilliant insights into the text. Provides clear evidence, and a robust example, that Sun Tzu's wisdom lineage lives on today." James Gimian, publisher, Shambhala Sun, director, Denma Translation Group, The Art of War: The Denma Translation

"A masterpiece.... Gives readers practical insight into the highly relevant work of Sun Tzu as it relates to peace, conflict resolution and personal growth. Clear guidance from an ancient philosopher and warrior." Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch, former captains, U.S. Marine Corps, and authors, Leading from the Front

"Engaging commentaries and clear explanations.... Captures the essence of Sun Tzu's teachings and demonstrates how [this] ancient wisdom can be applied in the modern world to achieve powerful results." Derek Lin, author, Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained"

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Sun Tzu, also known as Sun Wu or Sunzi, was an ancient Chinese military strategist believed to be the author of the acclaimed military text, The Art of War. Details about Sun Tzu s background and life are uncertain, although he is believed to have lived c. 544-496 BCE. Through The Art of War, Sun Tzu s theories and strategies have influenced military leaders and campaigns throughout time, including the samurai of ancient and early-modern Japan, and more recently Ho Chi Minh of the Viet Cong and American generals Norman Swarzkopf, Jr. and Colin Powell during the Persian Gulf War in the 1990s.

Thomas Huynh is founder of www.sonshi.com, the Web's leading and most respected resource on Sun Tzu s The Art of War. He co-translated The Art of War with the editors at Sonshi.com. He holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. He founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) solution that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Under Benioff's direction, salesforce.com has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a publicly traded company that is the market and technology leader in on-demand business services.

Throughout his career, Benioff has also been committed to using information technology to produce positive social change. In 2000 he launched the Salesforce Foundation-now a multi-million global organization-that pioneered the "1 percent model," whereby the company contributes 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves. Benioff is the author of two books, "The Business of Changing the World" and "Compassionate Capitalism". Acknowledging his devotion to finding solutions to global challenges, the Members of the World Economic Forum named Benioff a "Global Leader of Tomorrow"-one of 100 leaders in business, politics, and the arts committed to addressing social issues.

Thomas Cleary is the translator of "Opening the Dragon Gate" by Chen Kaiguo and Zhen Shunchao and "The Story of Chinese Zen" by Nan Huai-Chin, as well as "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu, "The Book of Five Rings" by Miyamoto Musashi, "The Japanese Art of War," and dozens of other titles on martial philosophy, Buddhism, Taoism, religion, and philosophy. He was born in 1949 and lives in Oakland, CA.


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HASH(0x9a61a6c0) von 5 Sternen The forward by Marc Benioff is worth the cost of the book 24. Februar 2013
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Read through the reviews written here and you'll get a sense of the profound impact Sun Tzu's treatise has had on military officers, businessmen and regular people alike. You'll also read about the amazing work Thomas Huynh has done translating and annotating the treatise and presenting it to the contemporary reader. So I won't linger on the point that studying this book will, without a doubt, help you live a better and more successful life.

I would like to express a point that hasn't been made, however. The 6-page forward Marc Benioff wrote is alone worth the price you'll pay for the entire book. It is excellently written and Benioff tells the story of how he has employed the teachings of Sun Tzu every step of the way in building a $2 billion dollar company from the ground up over the past 14 years.

The key to unlocking the power of Sun Tzu is to take the strategies and tactics he presents and apply them to the every day challenges of your life and work. Benioff is a master of this and he identifies the exact teachings in the text that guided him in devising the creative and bold solutions to problems he faced in building Salesforce.com. Everyone's challenges are different, but the theory to overcoming them remains the same. Seeing how someone else has done it is extremely helpful to someone who seeks to learn how for themselves. You will observe your own creativity and boldness being stirred by the story.

Benioff also zeros in on a key point that you're unlikely to encounter elsewhere. In "The Art of War", this treatise on defeat and victory on the battlefield, there is a surprising theme at the heart of all Sun Tzu's counsel: Compassion. Personally, I find it inspiring that a Chinese general from 2,500 years ago presents the profound ideal of compassion that Marc Benioff lives by.

And I believe you will, too.
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HASH(0x9c49fee8) von 5 Sternen From A Combat Leader 6. Februar 2009
Von Paul M. Boczkowski - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I first became aware of Sun Tzu and the Art of War in 1967 while I was in Infantry Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. We didn't have time for an in depth study of the text but we were made familiar with some of the relevant chapters.

In 1969 I served as an infantry platoon leader in the Mekong Delta with the 9th Infantry Division. One of the lessons I learned as a small unit combat leader was how to use the terrain to your best advantage in a night ambush operation. After a time it becomes second nature. Sun Tzu wrote about this tactic centuries ago. And in war it is just as fresh and new as the sun rise; true in Iraq, true in Afghanistan.

My war experience was forty years ago and now as an old man I recently had the opportunity revisit the text. Thomas Huynh's translations and annotations of the text lead me to a greater understanding of the wisdom contain therein.

My 90 year mother-in-law saw me reading The Art of War and asked to borrow it when I had finished reading. I immediately gave her the book and told her I had finished it and was just rereading a chapter. I asked her to keep the book and not worry about returning it ever. I then ordered another copy for myself.

A couple of weeks later I asked her if she'd read any of the book and she replied that she had read several chapters and then added, "It's called The Art of War but it seems to me that it's more about resolving conflicts than engaging in them." I thought to myself, "She got it." And as a mother of sixteen children she has some experience in conflict resolution I would expect.

As a person who has seen war I can tell you that it is horrible and that it should be the absolute and final resort in conflict resolution. The greatest leader avoids conflict and peace and harmony is the greatest victory personally and universally.

I highly recommend this translation and annotation by Thomas Huynh.
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HASH(0x9ae002b8) von 5 Sternen Not Just Another Translation 6. April 2008
Von E. M. Foner (SciFi Author) - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
A wisdom text that has been in print for over two millennium hardly needs another review to establish its merit. What's new here is the annotated translation by Thomas Huynh and his colleagues [...]. By carefully studying each and every pictograph from the Chinese original, they've come as close to reconnecting the English reader with Sun Tzu's thoughts as can be achieved in a translation. For example, when choosing a single word in English to correspond with a key concept from the original, the translator gives the alternatives and explains the final choice.

But the work goes beyond simply providing the most accurate translation that language differences allow. The extensive explanations are presented on facing pages in step with the translation, as opposed to being buried in footnotes or endnotes, and provide the cultural and historical context required to understand the text. Without these explanations of the who, what and where that Sun Tzu is referring to, a reader without a deep background in the Chinese literature and history of the period would come away with a partial understanding at best.

While I didn't put together an army to invade a neighboring state after reading this book, I already used one of the key concepts in a critical business negotiation that resolved in my favor. I'd recommend this book both to first time readers of the Art of War and to serious students of looking for additional insight into their favorite wisdom text.
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HASH(0x9a76def4) von 5 Sternen Excellent Annotations and Explanations of this Classic Text! 30. April 2008
Von Alain B. Burrese - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
With a shelf full of versions of "The Art of War" why purchase another one? This is a question one could ask of me. I have a dozen versions of "The Art of War," yet I purchased and read "The Art of War - Spirituality for Conflict" and am extremely glad that I did.

This version of "The Art of War" annotated and explained was annotated by Thomas Huynh and it is his translations with the editors at his website Sonshi. There is a foreword by Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce and a preface by Thomas Cleary. It was Cleary's preface that helped me decide to purchase this version, since several of my versions were translated by Cleary, and I've enjoyed the numerous translations of his I've read over the years.

Huynh states that he wishes he would have had this translation when he first started studying Sun Tzu's words twenty years ago. After reading it, I agree that any student of Sun Tzu will benefit from "The Art of War - Spirituality for Conflict."

Besides the interesting foreword and preface, there is a good introduction that lays some basic history and information for those new to Sun Tzu and those that have studied various translations already. One impressive fact about this book is that it is the work of twenty years of study with over forty reputable scholars working on it.

I enjoyed how this edition addresses a spiritual approach to conflict through Sun Tzu's teachings. The book still contains the thirteen chapters that were written by Sun Tzu. They are laid out in a format that has the translated text on the right side page, with the commentary to the translated text on the left side page. If a person wanted to, they could read every right hand page and they would be reading the entire translated text of "The Art of War."

However, if you truly study "The Art of War" like I enjoy doing, you will not only read the translated text, you will savor the commentary and annotations as well as ponder the lessons beyond Huynh's guidance.

In the annotations, Huynh provides examples relating to the text from many sources. It is refreshing to see things from the Bible, Buddha, and Lao Tzu not contrasting each other, but illustrating points and guiding toward conflict resolution. The text also includes examples based on General Robert E. Lee, Fourth Geneva Convention, a sermon delivered by Martin Luther king Jr. at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1957, George Washington, Robert Gates to the U.S. Congress in 2007, Henry David Thoreau, mathematics professor and investment trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure, and many more. These examples and illustrations of lessons and principles help with the study and application of "The Art of War" to other areas than only military strategy.

This is important, because while many readers of this text will benefit in areas other than in the military. While I first studied "The Art of War" while in the U.S. Army, I study it now for different reasons. It is a text that not only can help the military person, but any person who deals with conflict. And we all face conflict!

Sun Tzu's teachings are effective in all conflict, not only war. This new translation, with the annotations and explanations will allow any reader, from those with no previous knowledge of "The Art of War" to those who have studied multiple volumes, to learn and apply Sun Tzu's sage advice. It is very insightful and will not only help with your understanding and application of the ancient text, but will provide you with guidance to prevent and resolve conflicts in your own life.

If you want to study conflict resolution through a book about war. This is the text for you. If you have never read "The Art of War," this is a good book to start your studies. It is clear, easy to read, and contains excellent annotations to apply the lessons to your life. If you are a student of "The Art of War," this is a must add to your collection. You will find it an informative and refreshing look at this classic manual. I am very happy that I decided to purchase yet another volume. Its practical and pragmatic guidance has broadened my understanding of "The Art of War," and more importantly has helped me bring these ancient lessons into my conflict resolution practice. Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of Hard-Won Wisdom From The School of Hard Knocks.
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HASH(0x9b908f24) von 5 Sternen Scholarly analysis as holograph 17. Juli 2009
Von Robert Morris - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
At the outset, I need to acknowledge that I am not fluent in even one Asian language and thus am wholly unqualified to express an opinion about the several translations of The Art of War. I have copies of Sun Tzu's classic work translated by Thomas Cleary and Samuel B. Griffith (among others), and have read commentaries on The Art of War by B. H. Liddell Hart, Mark McNeilly, and Gerald A. Michaelson who relied on these translations.

Initially I did not understand the reference to "spirituality" in this book's subtitle but as I read Thomas Huynh's Introduction, I realized that during my previous readings of The Art of War, I had misunderstood one of Sun Tzu's most important points: It is for reasons of compassion as well as practicality that every possible effort must be made to avoid combat. According to Huynh, "Sun Tzu's goal in writing The Art of War was not to glamorize warfare but to instruct military leaders in the best way to end an armed conflict as rapidly as possible or - even better - to prevent the outbreak of war in the first place. When Sun Tzu spoke of victory, this is what he meant - the prevention or quick resolution of conflict, not the conquering of your opponent." There is a scene near the conclusion of the film Fort Apache when Cochise tries and fails to negotiate an agreement with a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. Soon afterward, the officer and most of his men die in combat. As the dust clears, Cochise reappears carrying the regiment's flag and angrily slams its stanchion into the ground with obvious disgust. Yes, the Apaches are the victors this day but their leader feels nothing but sadness and frustration as well as rage because the loss of life could have been avoided.

What sets this edition apart from others of which I am aware is the insightful Foreword by Marc Benioff and Preface by Thomas Cleary in combination with a well-crafted translation by Huynh and the editors of Sonshi.com. They are supplemented by Huynh's annotations juxtaposed with the key passages on which he comments. Readers will also appreciate the provision of brief explanations of core concepts that are inserted throughout the narrative. The title of my review suggests that Huynh and his Sonshi associates have -- with extensive scholarship, rigorous analysis, and lively eloquence -- created a three-dimensional context or frame-of-reference for Sun Tzu's observations and insights. To the extent that it is possible to do so with a literary work, they have brought it to life. That is indeed a brilliant achievement.

For example, consider this introductory comment to Doing Battle: "According to Sun Tzu, a skillful military general [or any military leader] only does battle when there is no other option. Many disagreements can be solved without the situation escalating into actual confrontation or battle, which often exacts a heavy toll on both sides." Huynh's 13 exceptionally informative annotations accompany the narrative in which Sun Tzu explains how best to pursue and achieve the eminently worthy objective of avoiding direct combat.

With regard to "Formation," [it] means more than simply the physical position you take to face your adversary; to Sun Tzu, it is the position of invincibility your enemy cannot surmount. This state of invincibility reduces the number of conflicts you will have to face, because adversaries will quickly see the futility of trying to challenge you." Huynh's 10 exceptionally informative annotations accompany the narrative in which Sun Tzu explains how best to pursue and achieve another eminently worthy objective, avoiding direct combat by convincing an opponent that there is no way he opponent can prevail. On the contrary, the opponent will be annihilated.

I am so impressed by the results of their collaboration that I not only recommend this edition to everyone who has not as yet read The Art of War but also to those who now have other editions because, in this non-scholar's opinion, it would be difficult to gain an understanding and appreciation of the material that would otherwise not be possible without the assistance of Thomas Huynh, Marc Benioff, Thomas Cleary, and their associates.
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