The history of China is a history of warfare. Wars have caused dynasties to collapse, fractured the thin façade of national unity, and brought decades of alien occupation. But throughout Chinese history, its warfare has been guided by principles different from those that governed Europe. Chinese strategists followed the concept, first articulated by Sun-tzu in The Art of War, of qi (ch'i), or unorthodox, warfare. The concept of qi involves creating tactical imbalances in order to achieve victory against even vastly superior forces. Ralph D. Sawyer, translator of The Art of War and one of America's preeminent experts on Chinese military tactics, here offers a comprehensive guide to the ancient practice of unorthodox warfare. He describes, among many other tactics, how Chinese generals have used false rumors to exploit opposing generals' distrust of their subordinates; dressed thousands of women as soldiers to create the illusion of an elite attack force; and sent word of a false surrender to lure enemy troops away from a vital escape route. The Tao of Deception is the book that military tacticians and military historians will turn to as the definitive guide to a new, yet ancient, way of thinking about strategy.
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About the Author
Ralph D. Sawyer, one of America's leading scholars in Chinese warfare, has worked extensively with major intelligence and defense agencies. After studying at MIT and Harvard and a brief stint of university teaching, Sawyer has spent the past thirty years lecturing and doing international consulting work focused on China.
Table of Contents
A Note on Pronunciation xiii
Dynastic Chronology xv
Historical Experience and Formulations
Incipient Beginnings 3
Spring and Autumn Precursors 17
Sun-tzu's Definitive Formulation 55
Warring States Commanders 69
Warring States Explications 83
Han Dynasty Realizations 97
Three Kingdoms 135
Northern and Southern Dynasties Exemplars 163
Sui and T'ang Conflicts 189
Theory in the Three Kingdoms and Early T'ang 213
Sung Dynasty Theoretical Developments 253
The Ming and Beyond 297
Modern Theories and Implications
Traditional Wisdom Revitalized 323
Modern Embodiments and Implications 375
Selected Bibliographies 451
Selected Index 477
Also by Ralph D. Sawyer 487
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Tao of Deception: Unorthodox Warfare in Historic and Modern China based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The tactics are fascinating. Unfortunately, this book spends most of its time elaborating on the history of warfare scholarship, which is boring as hell.