Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Sawyer's Ancient Chinese Warfare

Expand Messages
  • kueikutzu
    Long awaited, my copy just shipped from Amazon.
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 20, 2011
      Long awaited, my copy just shipped from Amazon.

      http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Chinese-Warfare-Ralph-Sawyer/dp/046502145X/ref=sr_1_cc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1298211618&sr=1-2-catcorr

      editorial Reviews
      From Publishers Weekly
      Sawyer, a leading scholar of Chinese warfare and fellow at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, is best known for his comprehensively edited translations of classical military writings. His latest analytical work is no less significant. It begins in the prehistoric period and continues through the fifth century B.C.E., an era traditionally described as one of stability, almost idyllic compared to the two-century warring states period that followed. Sawyer instead demonstrates through archeological evidence, traditional accounts, and convincing interpretations of inscriptions that conflict in China became increasingly complex, lethal, and decisive during the Hsia and Shang dynasties. Armies became structured forces with bureaucratized logistics. Warrior values were integrated into mainstream cultures. Sawyer's analysis ranges from the evolution of fortification, through the metallurgical innovations behind improved weapons, to the technologies and animal husbandry that enabled the chariots that became ancient China's signature. Warfare, says Sawyer, stimulated innovation, social change, and material progress. It also destroyed the peace and security of communities, then peoples, absorbed into ever-larger political systems sustained by force. Ancient China, shaped by its wars, was firmly set on "a trajectory of state building and aggressive activity." Illus. (Mar.)
      (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

      FYI
      Doug
    • Wil
      Hey thanks for the heads up... If you feel like putting together a book review or even starting a little best practices discussions around the book, I would
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 21, 2011
        Hey thanks for the heads up...  If you feel like putting together a book review or even starting a little best practices discussions around the book, I would love to hear your thoughts...

        Thanks again, and I already placed it on my To Do list...

        Wil



        From: kueikutzu <kueikutzu@...>
        To: Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sun, February 20, 2011 9:27:04 AM
        Subject: [Sun_Tzu] Sawyer's Ancient Chinese Warfare

         

        Long awaited, my copy just shipped from Amazon.

        http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Chinese-Warfare-Ralph-Sawyer/dp/046502145X/ref=sr_1_cc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1298211618&sr=1-2-catcorr

        editorial Reviews
        From Publishers Weekly
        Sawyer, a leading scholar of Chinese warfare and fellow at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, is best known for his comprehensively edited translations of classical military writings. His latest analytical work is no less significant. It begins in the prehistoric period and continues through the fifth century B.C.E., an era traditionally described as one of stability, almost idyllic compared to the two-century warring states period that followed. Sawyer instead demonstrates through archeological evidence, traditional accounts, and convincing interpretations of inscriptions that conflict in China became increasingly complex, lethal, and decisive during the Hsia and Shang dynasties. Armies became structured forces with bureaucratized logistics. Warrior values were integrated into mainstream cultures. Sawyer's analysis ranges from the evolution of fortification, through the metallurgical innovations behind improved weapons, to the technologies and animal husbandry that enabled the chariots that became ancient China's signature. Warfare, says Sawyer, stimulated innovation, social change, and material progress. It also destroyed the peace and security of communities, then peoples, absorbed into ever-larger political systems sustained by force. Ancient China, shaped by its wars, was firmly set on "a trajectory of state building and aggressive activity." Illus. (Mar.)
        (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

        FYI
        Doug


      • kueikutzu
        The press release on the book is in the files section of the group begin quoted. In any event, the first volume follows the original plan, comprehensively
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 21, 2011
          The press release on the book is in the files section of the group

          begin quoted.


          In any event, the first volume follows the original plan, comprehensively covering antiquity through the Shang. Defenses, tactics, lots of stuff on chariots, weapons, organization, etc., it's all there. (A few people even think it is pretty good but I am sure the critics will pop up like mushrooms. I've attached the Basic promo for your amusement.) However, the second volume, nearing completion, focuses solely on the military factors in the rise and fall of the Western Zhou, with weapons evolution and some other issues such as military organization being deferred to the third volume which will focus on the Spring and Autumn but look at the chariot and weapons history throughout the Chou's entire 800 year history as this is the most logical approach. (The Western Zhou volume will be nearly 600 pages long, heavily based on bronze inscriptions and archaeological discoveries.) Whether Basic or someone else will publish the third and final volume is as yet undetermined, but the Western Zhou volume should be out next fall. I also have a book on deception in early warfare, both Chinese and Western, nearly complete.

          Sawyer
          (If you haven't seen it yet, my article on "Martial Qi" in the Journal Of Military and Strategic Studies -- probably winter 2008/2009 -- freely available at www.jmss.org might be of interest.)
        • kueikutzu
          Agreed. Learning a bit more about the scope, it will take a while for Mr. Sawyer to get to the Sunzi period proper, but Sunzi did and does not exist in a
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 21, 2011
            Agreed. Learning a bit more about the scope, it will take a while for Mr. Sawyer to get to the Sunzi period proper, but Sunzi did and does not exist in a vacuom. And while I am interested in Sunzi, the development of Chinese military technology is also an interest.

            --- In Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com, Wil <wilm123@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hey thanks for the heads up... If you feel like putting together a book review
            > or even starting a little best practices discussions around the book, I would
            > love to hear your thoughts...
            >
            > Thanks again, and I already placed it on my To Do list...
            >
            > Wil
            >
            >
            >
            > >
            > >From: kueikutzu <kueikutzu@...>
            > >To: Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com
            > >Sent: Sun, February 20, 2011 9:27:04 AM
            > >Subject: [Sun_Tzu] Sawyer's Ancient Chinese Warfare
            > >
            > >
            > >Long awaited, my copy just shipped from Amazon.
            > >
            > >http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Chinese-Warfare-Ralph-Sawyer/dp/046502145X/ref=sr_1_cc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1298211618&sr=1-2-catcorr
            > >
            > >
            > >editorial Reviews
            > >From Publishers Weekly
            > >Sawyer, a leading scholar of Chinese warfare and fellow at the Centre for
            > >Military and Strategic Studies, is best known for his comprehensively edited
            > >translations of classical military writings. His latest analytical work is no
            > >less significant. It begins in the prehistoric period and continues through the
            > >fifth century B.C.E., an era traditionally described as one of stability, almost
            > >idyllic compared to the two-century warring states period that followed. Sawyer
            > >instead demonstrates through archeological evidence, traditional accounts, and
            > >convincing interpretations of inscriptions that conflict in China became
            > >increasingly complex, lethal, and decisive during the Hsia and Shang dynasties.
            > >Armies became structured forces with bureaucratized logistics. Warrior values
            > >were integrated into mainstream cultures. Sawyer's analysis ranges from the
            > >evolution of fortification, through the metallurgical innovations behind
            > >improved weapons, to the technologies and animal husbandry that enabled the
            > >chariots that became ancient China's signature. Warfare, says Sawyer, stimulated
            > >innovation, social change, and material progress. It also destroyed the peace
            > >and security of communities, then peoples, absorbed into ever-larger political
            > >systems sustained by force. Ancient China, shaped by its wars, was firmly set on
            > >"a trajectory of state building and aggressive activity." Illus. (Mar.)
            > >(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
            > >
            > >FYI
            > >Doug
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • cispro888
            Following is the table of contents from this book: Preface 1 Preliminary Orientations and Legendary Conflicts 2 Ancient Fortifications, I 3 Ancient
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 21, 2011
              Following is the table of contents from this book:

              Preface
              1 Preliminary Orientations and Legendary Conflicts
              2 Ancient Fortifications, I
              3 Ancient Fortifications, II
              4 The Hsia
              5 Warfare in the Hsia
              6 The Shang Dynasty
              7 Shang Capitals, Citadels, and Fortifications
              8 Chaos, Contraction, and Resurgence
              9 King Wu Ting, I
              10 King Wu Ting, II
              11 The Last Reigns
              12 The Shang Martial Edifice
              13 Troops, Intelligence, and Tactics
              14 Metallurgical Evolution in China
              15 Early Weapons and the Axe
              16 Knives, Daggers, and Swords
              17 The Ko or Dagger-axe
              18 Spears and Armor
              19 Ancient Archery
              20 The Chariot in China
              21 The Horse in China

              { * }
            • cispro888
              What is your definition of best practices ?
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 21, 2011
                What is your definition of "best practices"?


                --- In Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com, Wil <wilm123@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hey thanks for the heads up... If you feel like putting together a book review
                > or even starting a little best practices discussions around the book, I would
                > love to hear your thoughts...
                >
                > Thanks again, and I already placed it on my To Do list...

                > > Wil
              • Wil
                Good question, I did kind of leave that open a bit.... It would be nice to talk about the common tools, processes, strategy, and tactics that seem like they
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 21, 2011
                  Good question, I did kind of leave that open a bit.... It would be nice to talk about the common tools, processes, strategy, and tactics that seem like they would be applicable today.

                  Wil



                  From: cispro888 <cispro888@...>
                  To: Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Mon, February 21, 2011 5:46:45 PM
                  Subject: [Sun_Tzu] Re: Sawyer's Ancient Chinese Warfare

                   

                  What is your definition of "best practices"?

                  --- In Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com, Wil <wilm123@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hey thanks for the heads up... If you feel like putting together a book review
                  > or even starting a little best practices discussions around the book, I would
                  > love to hear your thoughts...
                  >
                  > Thanks again, and I already placed it on my To Do list...

                  > > Wil



                • cispro888
                  There are numerous traditional practices of the strategist. Each school of strategic thoughts have their own view and their own set of practices. The best
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 22, 2011
                    There are numerous traditional practices of the strategist. Each school of strategic thoughts have their own view and their own set of practices. The best practices are usually mentioned behind closed doors. Those who know, usually don't say. It is the way of that profession.

                    Here are some of those general practices that someone told me:
                    1. Know the big tangible picture before making a strategic move.
                    2. Know the universal rules of strategy.
                    3. Be the quiet professional who knows how to transform information into relevant intelligence.
                    4. Always have a process that enables one to be efficient and flexible.
                    5. Communicate with metaphors that people can relate to
                    6. There is more to the subject of strategy than the Art of War (AoW). Study the Eight Classics (Seven Strategy Classics and Sun Bin's Military Methods) and a few other set of strategy texts. On a side note, those who talk about the AoW all day, are usually selling smoke, mirrors, bells and whistles.

                    I presumed that you and the other forum members already know this.
                    There are smarter people here that could tell you more about this stuff.

                    To most people, this is a quite boring topic. They would rather go to their search engine and get the idea of the answer, one click at a time.

                    Now you know what I know. Good luck.


                    --- In Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com, Wil <wilm123@...> wrote:
                    > Good question, I did kind of leave that open a bit.... It would be nice to talk about the common tools, processes, strategy, and tactics that seem like they would be applicable today.
                    >
                    > Wil
                    >
                    > >From: cispro888 <cispro888@...>
                    > >To: Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com
                    > >Sent: Mon, February 21, 2011 5:46:45 PM
                    > >Subject: [Sun_Tzu] Re: Sawyer's Ancient Chinese Warfare
                    > >What is your definition of "best practices"?
                    > >
                    > >--- In Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com, Wil <wilm123@> wrote:
                    > >>
                    > >> Hey thanks for the heads up... If you feel like putting together a book review
                    > >>
                    > >> or even starting a little best practices discussions around the book, I would
                    >
                    > >> love to hear your thoughts...
                    > >>
                    > >> Thanks again, and I already placed it on my To Do list...
                    > >
                    > >> > Wil
                  • Wil
                    I have to admit I haven t seen principles for practicing strategy summarized like that before. I am particularly interested to know if you have a process for
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 22, 2011
                      I have to admit I haven't seen principles for practicing strategy summarized like that before.  I am particularly interested to know if you have a process for (3), "transform information into relevant intelligence," that you would like to share.  I could shoot off a 100 questions a minute if I could type that fast but perhaps I could ask one more.  Is there a framework mentioned in the text or one that you use to visualize the big picture before making strategic maneuvers?



                      From: cispro888 <cispro888@...>
                      To: Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Tue, February 22, 2011 3:09:11 PM
                      Subject: [Sun_Tzu] The Best Practices of the Strategists: The Processes and The Tools

                       

                      There are numerous traditional practices of the strategist. Each school of strategic thoughts have their own view and their own set of practices. The best practices are usually mentioned behind closed doors. Those who know, usually don't say. It is the way of that profession.

                      Here are some of those general practices that someone told me:
                      1. Know the big tangible picture before making a strategic move.
                      2. Know the universal rules of strategy.
                      3. Be the quiet professional who knows how to transform information into relevant intelligence.
                      4. Always have a process that enables one to be efficient and flexible.
                      5. Communicate with metaphors that people can relate to
                      6. There is more to the subject of strategy than the Art of War (AoW). Study the Eight Classics (Seven Strategy Classics and Sun Bin's Military Methods) and a few other set of strategy texts. On a side note, those who talk about the AoW all day, are usually selling smoke, mirrors, bells and whistles.

                      I presumed that you and the other forum members already know this.
                      There are smarter people here that could tell you more about this stuff.

                      To most people, this is a quite boring topic. They would rather go to their search engine and get the idea of the answer, one click at a time.

                      Now you know what I know. Good luck.


                      --- In Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com, Wil <wilm123@...> wrote:
                      > Good question, I did kind of leave that open a bit.... It would be nice to talk about the common tools, processes, strategy, and tactics that seem like they would be applicable today.
                      >
                      > Wil
                      >
                      > >From: cispro888 <cispro888@...>
                      > >To: Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com
                      > >Sent: Mon, February 21, 2011 5:46:45 PM
                      > >Subject: [Sun_Tzu] Re: Sawyer's Ancient Chinese Warfare
                      > >What is your definition of "best practices"?
                      > >
                      > >--- In Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com, Wil <wilm123@> wrote:
                      > >>
                      > >> Hey thanks for the heads up... If you feel like putting together a book review
                      > >>
                      > >> or even starting a little best practices discussions around the book, I would
                      >
                      > >> love to hear your thoughts...
                      > >>
                      > >> Thanks again, and I already placed it on my To Do list...
                      > >
                      > >> > Wil


                    • cispro888
                      Has anyone read this interesting book? If so, what is their opinion?
                      Message 10 of 11 , Apr 28 11:26 PM
                        Has anyone read this interesting book? If so, what is their opinion?
                      • kueikutzu
                        ... Regrettably, and in brief, I would not recommend it. I read it once, and having now read State Formation in Early China and rereading the Cambridge
                        Message 11 of 11 , Apr 29 9:54 AM
                          --- In Sun_Tzu@yahoogroups.com, "cispro888" <cispro888@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Has anyone read this interesting book? If so, what is their opinion?
                          >
                          Regrettably, and in brief, I would not recommend it. I read it once, and having now read "State Formation in Early China" and rereading the Cambridge history of Ancient China, I will reread it to make comments.

                          The major failings?

                          Absence of maps

                          Use of wade-giles transliteration makes it difficult to cross reference with current works

                          Not enough illustrations/photos of weaponry.

                          The discussion on the chariot in the Shang leans too heavily on examples from the Zhou and later.

                          Worth checking out from the library if you already have a good sense of the geography of the early Chinese landscape.

                          Regards
                          Douglas
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.