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By Thomas Kane

Sun Tzu and different classical chinese language strategic thinkers wrote in an period of social, monetary and armed forces revolution, and was hoping to spot enduring ideas of struggle and statecraft. The twenty-first century is a time of equally innovative switch, and this makes their principles of specific relevance for today’s strategic atmosphere. putting those theories in ancient context, Dr Kane explores old chinese language reactions to such matters as advances in army know-how and insurgency and terrorism, offering fascinating comparisons among smooth and old.

The booklet explains the way in which well known chinese language thinkers - resembling sunlight Tzu, Han Fei Tzu and Lao Tzu - handled severe strategic questions. It additionally compares their principles to these of thinkers from different occasions and civilizations (e.g. Clausewitz) to light up fairly small print. In concluding, the booklet addresses the query of ways old chinese language rules may perhaps tell modern strategic debates.

Ancient China on Postmodern War should be of a lot curiosity to scholars of strategic reviews, chinese language philosophy and army history.

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Additional resources for Ancient China and Post Modern War (Cass Military Studies)

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Content analysis consists of quoting the two texts ‘extensively in the interest of allowing their authors to speak for themselves’ (Handel 1996: 3). In some cases, Handel takes this approach to the point, not merely of quoting passages verbatim, but of summarizing various authors’ positions on selected issues and arranging those summaries as cells in a table (Handel 1996: ix). When discussing particularly critical ideas, he takes these summaries to an even greater level of abstraction by rendering them in the form of diagrams.

In some cases, Handel takes this approach to the point, not merely of quoting passages verbatim, but of summarizing various authors’ positions on selected issues and arranging those summaries as cells in a table (Handel 1996: ix). When discussing particularly critical ideas, he takes these summaries to an even greater level of abstraction by rendering them in the form of diagrams. 1, for instance, Clausewitz defines war as three solid, concentric circles (Handel 1996: 32). Sun Tzu defines war as a circle of dashes inside a solid circle (Handel 1996: 32).

This minimizes the degree to which one can accuse him of letting his own biases influence his interpretations. Handel asks readers to place more faith in his interpretive skill when he condenses other authors’ work for use in tables. These tables, however, are certainly convenient for anybody who wants to grasp the various authors’ key points quickly. More significantly, Handel’s argument that there is a universal logic of war is, itself, logical. Bullets and crossbow bolts are no respecters of culture.

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