The Art of War by Sun Tzu – Book Report/Review Example

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The paper "The Art of War by Sun Tzu" is an inspiring example of a book review on military. Written in the 4th century BCE, The Art of War by Sun Tzu reflects its opposition western post-enlightenment strategic thought: 19. Now there are three ways in which a ruler can bring misfortune upon his army: 20. When ignorant that the army should not advance, order and advance or ignorant that it should not retire, to order a retirement. This is described as ‘ hobbling the army’ . Chia-Lin: The advance and retirement if the army can be controlled by the general in accordance with prevailing circumstances.

No evil is greater than the commands of the sovereign from the court. 21. When ignorant of military affairs, to participate in their administration. This causes the officers to be perplexed. 22. When ignorant of command problems to share in the exercise of responsibilities. This engenders doubts in the minds of the officers. (Sun Tzu, The Art of War, p.81) The ‘ art of war’ presents the manoeuvre warfare as: ‘ For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill.

To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. ’ (Sun Tzu, The Art of War, p.77) The art of war gives the idea of collective advantage whereas the Western post-enlightenment strategic thought only thinks of self-interest. The paper discusses that the art of war represents a strategic theory that is fundamentally at odds with western post-enlightenment strategic thought. In many ways, the spirit of the New World Order in West is a mix of socialist economics,   Enlightenment  notions of rationality, and very deep and rich traditions of medieval millennialism that were carried to West by Protestant preachers who, as Richard Gamble writes, made West into a "permanently revolutionary nation. " (Walter, 1997) Gamble calls the outcome of this development the "Christ-Nation, " a symbol by which "Wilson reassigned the divine attributes of Christ to the Western nation: the U. S.

was the Mediator, the light of the world, the peacemaker, the bringer of salvation. "8 In this concept, Gamble writes, we see "the worst of disordered loves. " (Mark, 2003) Kennington sees three meanings of the concept Enlightenment in the context of conscious rejection of classical philosophy-what we may call the "political program" implicit in modern philosophy.

He writes that ".. .Enlightenment rhetoric has a permanently divisive social function" that encourages modem man to engage in the mastery of nature to advance science and communication between scientists; to promote "open" societies versus those that "seek the autonomous cultivation and preservation of their own morality and way of life. " (Mark, 2003) This "permanently divisive social function" of modern, Enlightenment philosophy found fertile soil in the shaping of Wilson's successful challenge of traditional religion by converting West into a Christ-Nation devoted to permanent revolution.


Ernest R May. (2005). The Twenty-first Century Challenge for US Intelligence' in J E Sims and Gerber (eds), Transforming US Intelligence (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press,) p. 7.

The book examines super terrorism by modern war theory can offer direction in rising a new national security policy to contradict the risk.

Mark McNeilly (2003). Sun Tzu and the art of modern warfare, (New York: Oxford University Press,) p. 210.

The above book is consisted of Sun Tzu’s strategy of Art of war.

Ralph Sawyer with Mei-Chun Lee-Sawyer (1996), The Complete Art of War: Sun Tzu & Sun Pin (Colorado: West view Press,) p. 118.

The above work is a great description of Chinese strategies of warfare, organization and leadership.

Holbrooke Richard (1998). To End a War (New York, NY: The Modern Library,), chs. 7, 21.

Robert Coram. ( 2002). Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, New York: Little, Brown and Company, pp. 424-5.

Sun Tzu. (1971). The Art of War, S.B. Griffith trans. and ed. (Oxford University Press,), p.81

This book is divided in two parts. Both parts give detail view of Chinese war strategies and tactics to overcome on enemy. The book mostly emphasizes on subduing the enemy without any fight.

Walter A. McDougall, (1997). Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776 Boston, 15-38.

This book is about America's foreign policy consisting over the precedent two hundred years fixes the hypothesis that America is besieged with two images of itself as reproduction in its foreign policy, beginning its early on version as a diplomatic state to current adaptation as a campaigner state.

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