8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm)
Black & White on White paper
BISAC: Philosophy / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu (also referred to as "Sunzi" and "Sun Wu"), a high ranking military general and strategist of the Kingdom of Wu who was active in the late-sixth century BC, during the late Spring and Autumn period. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it is said to be the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time, and is still read for its military insights.
The Art of War is one of the oldest and most successful books on military strategy in the world. It has been the most famous and influential of China's Seven Military Classics: for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name. It has had an influence on Eastern military thinking, business tactics, and beyond.
Sun Tzu emphasized the importance of positioning in military strategy, and that the decision to position an army must be based on both objective conditions in the physical environment and the subjective beliefs of other, competitive actors in that environment. He thought that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through an established list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment, but in a changing environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations.
This edition, translated by Lionel Giles in 1910, is highlighted and in a larger 8X10 format for easy readability. The Giles translation has copious annotation.
List Price: $8.95
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
BISAC: Philosophy / Political
Niccolò Machiavelli’s best-known book, Il Principe, contains a number of maxims concerning politics, but rather than the more traditional subject of a hereditary prince, it concentrates on the possibility of a "new prince". To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the people are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling, since he must first stabilize his new-found power in order to build an enduring political structure. That requires the prince being concerned with reputation but also being willing to act immorally. As a political scientist, Machiavelli emphasises the occasional need for the methodical exercise of brute force, deceit, and so on.
Notwithstanding some mitigating themes, the Catholic Church proscribed The Prince, registering it to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and humanists also viewed the book negatively, among them, Erasmus of Rotterdam. As a treatise, its primary intellectual contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political Realism and political Idealism — thus, The Prince is a manual to acquiring and keeping political power. In contrast with Plato and Aristotle, Machiavelli insisted that an imaginary ideal society is not the model for a prince to orient himself by.