For more than 2,000 years, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War has provided leaders with essential advice on battlefield tactics, managing troops and terrain, and employing cunning and deception. An elemental part of Chinese culture, it has also become a touchstone for the Western struggle for survival and success, whether in battle, in business or in relationships. Now, in this crisp, accessible new translation, John Minford brings this seminal work to life for today’s readers. A lively, learned introduction, chronologies and suggested further reading are among the valuable apparatus included in this authoritative volume. Even those readers familiar with The Art of War will experience it anew, finding it more fascinating – and more chilling – than ever.
Little is known about Sun Tzu (544-496 B.C.) and his life during the Warring States period after the decline of the Zhou dysnasty, but his classic, The Art of War, has been one of the central works of Chinese literature for 2500 years.
John Minford studied Chinese at Oxford and at the Australian National University and has taught in China, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. He edited (with Geremie Barme) Seeds of Fire: Chinese Voices of Conscience and (with Joseph S. M. Lau) Chinese Classical Literature: An Anthology of Translations. He has translated numerous works from the Chinese, including the last two volumes of the Penguin Classics edition of Cao Xueqin’s eighteenth-century novel The Story of the Stone and the martial-arts fiction of the contemporary Hong Kong novelist Louis Cha.