The 36 Strategies of the Martial Arts: The Classic Chinese Guide for Success in War, Business, and Life
by Hiroshi Moriya
ISBN 1590309928 (1-59030-992-8)
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Softcover, Shambhala, 2013
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Book summary: The 36 Secret Strategies of the Martial Arts is a collection of ancient Chinese maxims that encapsulate some of the Far East's most cunning tactics for battle and deception. Each of these strategies represents a distilled nugget of Chinese wisdom. In the early 1980s, Hiroshi Moriya, an acknowledged authority on Chinese culture and philosophy, published a book in Japanese in which he analyzed and explained these strategies; then he used examples from ancient and recent history to further elucidate their meaning. Now, renowned translator William Scott Wilson makes The 36 Secret Strategies accessible to today's reader with his new English translation of both the Chinese maxim itself and Moriyas interpretive work.
The volume is organized into six parts ( Strategies for Victory in Battle, Strategies for Engaging the Enemy, Strategies for Attack, Strategies for Confused Fighting, Strategies for Unified Battle and Strategies for a Lost Battle) with six chapters in each. Many of the ideas presented will be familiar; but Wilson makes their meaning even more readily understandable by assigning short, pithy titles to each of the thirty-six chapters: Borrow a Sword to Make Your Kill, If You Want to Take It, Leave It Alone, Stir Up the Water, Catch the Fish, Send Them to the Roof, Remove the Ladder, and so on.
While these strategies offer a look into the past, they are even more valuable to todays reader for providing insights into contemporary China. And, like such other classics as The Book of Five Rings and The Art of War, The 36 Secret Strategies gives the businessman, the diplomat, the politician, the military strategist, and the sports competitor keys to understanding, interpreting and countering the actions of even the most daunting opponent.
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