The Thirty-Six Strategies

36coverThe Thirty-Six Strategies of Ancient China
Timeless Proverbs on the Art of Being Cunning

China Books (Publisher)
Barnes & Noble

Kindle Book
* 5 X 7 High Gloss Trade Paperback Edition
* 207 pages with 36 Illustrations by author
* 122 Anecdotes from both Chinese and Japanese history

The Thirty-Six Strategies of Ancient China is an easy to read and fascinating look at how many of the strategies and tactics mentioned by Sun Tzu in his book The Art Of War, were employed in ancient times.

There is a Zen-like simplicity in the book’s structure. Each strategy is also a Chinese proverb and is briefly explained. There follows three or four  short anecdotes taken from Chinese and Japanese history which act as teaching tales to show how such strategies can be used.

This is one of the most diverse yet accessible collections of Chinese strategies yet assembled. Brief in form, yet endless in wisdom, these fundamental rules of military engagement are easily adapted to the modern office, sports team, or everyday task.
Taken from sources ranging from Lao Zi to Miyamoto Musashi, Stefan H. Verstappen has assembled a fascinating and impressive selection of historical and anecdotal evidence in support of this classic doctrine of strategy and one of the most influential works of East Asian philosophy. Whether you are a platoon commander or a weekend warrior, this book will enable you to stay three steps ahead.



5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and detailed, May 23, 2007
By Eo (Gilbert, AZ United States)

Very well written treatise of the 36 strategies. The strategies are usually ruthless, almost always involving deception, using quite inventive ways to trick the opponent. Most notable for the complete lack of ethics and win-at-all costs approach, and often for the subtleness of the strategies. Excellent.

 4 of 5 stars, Apr 02, 12

Nick’s Review

Reading this book is like reading The Art of War. I kept thinking, absolutely, the next time I want to convince my enemies — who know that I’m starving — that I actually have plenty of food, I’ll pile up my food baskets high with sand, and a thin layer of wheat. That’ll fool ’em. Then I think, food baskets? sand? wheat? This is one of those classics from ancient China that requires a lot of translation and imagination. The stories of treachery, deception, and bad behavior are fun, but I came away unconvinced that my life was exciting enough to apply this stuff in any meaningful way. This is a book for players, for people with real enemies — maybe CEOs and politicians?

3 of 5 stars, Dec 08, 12
Thomas’s Review

This a great, easy to digest, and fast read if you want to get up to speed on Chinese history, strategy, and how to apply them to your real life.

The author lays out each chapter in perfect bite sized paragraphs. He starts out with the strategy, then supports it with actual Chinese – and in some cases Japanese – history lessons. In the end, he summarizes the strategy.

Perfect for the bus or train commute, you can read through this in less than a week.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Absolutely Wonderful Gem!,
September 6, 2011
By SurvivorsUnite (Williamsburg, Va)

I have yet to finish this book but I am so impressed with it, one reason is because my 13 year old daughter is now reading it and I have to constantly remove it from her room! Very telling of how history repeats itself and how what you don’t know can be used against you! Fun and very interesting find!

5.0 out of 5 stars
Mandatory Bookshelf Material for the Strategist, August 8, 2012
By J. Larson (Michigan)

This is the natural next step after reading, comprehending, applying, and mastering “The Art Of War” by Sun Tzu. This book is generally referred to as “The Secret Art Of War”. It expounds on some very unique, tried and tested military strategies, which like “The Art Of War”, have a seemingly endless amount of possibility for application. Do yourself the favor and quit reading the review. Honest to goodness, from one general customer to another, it’s a must-have.

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