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Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.” So begins The Art of War, a meditation on the rules of war that was first published in China.

Historians don’t know the exact date of the book’s publication (though they believe it to be in the 4th or 5th century); in fact, they don’t even know who wrote it!

From there, translated copies of “Sun Tzu’s” work found their way to Korea and Japan.

(The oldest Japanese version dates from the 8th century A.

The book contains chapters like: “The use of spies”, “attack with fire”, “Tactical dispositions”, “Plannings offensives” and several more.

Its 13 chapters offer specific battle strategies–for example, one tells commanders how to move armies through inhospitable terrain, while another explains how to use and respond to different types of weapons–but they also give more general advice about conflicts and their resolution.Legend has it that he was a Chinese military leader in an era known as the Spring and Autumn Period.This was a time of great turmoil in China, as many vassal states vied for power and control of the country’s unpopulated territories.If I were setting up a backup up archive on say Mars this would be one of the texts I would would have engraved into the quantum level fabric of the data store :) A great treasure for all of humanity. Just the present capacity to effectively engage in a conflict if you must. War , like it or not is a part of our continuum and this book is eventually about how to NOT do it. Know your enemy, know yourself and know your environment. So for me a lot of the text came across as all too obvious common sense. Anyone who wants to understand both literal warfare and "moral equivalents to war" would be well served to study this text and dwell in particular on whatever parts seem counter-intuitive or nonsensical: That's where a given reader will find challenges and rewards.

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