- Feb 26, 2014I have not seen any interesting strategy books lately until this past two months while going book shopping. Beside looking for new Perl programming and Python programming books, I found the following Sawyer's books:Conquest and Domination in Early China: Rise and Demise of the Western ChouConquest and Domination examines the strategy and actors instrumental in the Chou’s (Zhou’s) astonishing rise from an obscure clan of uncertain location to their surprising conquest of the mighty Shang at the decisive battle of Mu-yeh in 1045 BCE. Based upon traditional historical literature, extensive archaeological materials, and contemporary bronze inscriptions, the first section traces their early migrations and gradual acquisition of power and territory through both political and military means before analyzing the many physical, tactical, and psychological factors that contributed to their success. The second part is devoted to reprising and understanding the rebellion that arose within a few years, with the third chronicling the military activities of the nearly three centuries before the Western Chou’s highly melodramatic but ignominious collapse. The final section is devoted to pondering several crucial factors and raising questions about the period’s history. Particular emphasis is placed employing the insights that can be gleaned from traditional Chinese military science and understanding the importance of developments from within the subsequent historical perspective.
Zhuge Liang: Strategy, Achievements, and Writings
A decidedly historic figure whose legend was increasingly magnified over the centuries, Zhuge Liang (Chu-ko Liang) has long been regarded as a brilliant strategist, commander, administrator, inventor, practitioner of the esoteric arts, originator of arcane wisdom, military thinker, and a sagacious king maker. His geostrategic insights rescued Liu Pei from extinction, resulting in China’s Three Kingdoms period, and his innovative tactics – including the “empty city ploy” -- reportedly resulted in defeating vastly superior, often befuddled foes. His escapades and achievements have become the subject of tales and novels, movies and tv serializations, and he looms large in war games and contemporary media. However, understanding his extensive military writings requires penetrating the myths and stories, discerning Chu-ko Liang’s real accomplishments, and acknowledging his shortcomings. In addition to a complete, annotated translation of all his martial works and many of his missives and memorials,Zhuge Liang: Strategy, Achievements, and Writings contains an extensive historical introduction which outlines the military context, examines his strategic thought, and analyzes the numerous campaigns he personally directed after Liu Pei’s death. Insights from the Art of War and other classic Chinese military works well familiar to Chu-ko Liang are employed throughout.
/// The ZGL book is a quick read. I am still reading the Conquest and Domination in Early China.Have a good read!