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Sun Tzu's The Art of War

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Sun Tzu's The Art of War


     The translation of the “Sun Tzu: The Art of War” ancient Chinese text has been given by many different writers. Samuel B. Griffith, Brigadier General, retired, U.S. Marine Corps; is a proven strategist that studied the English commandoes war fighting skills as a Captain. As a Major, Griffith was hand picked to serve as Executive Officer under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Merritt Edson of the 1st Raider Battalion, one of the battalions that perfected the amphibious landings during World War II. Samuel B. Griffith gives his in-depth study on “Sun Tzu: The Art of War” and how Mao Tse-tung used the strategies and teachings of Sun Tzu while commanding the Red Army of China. Griffith’s translation of Sun Tzu’s work is written in three parts: Introduction, Translation, and Appendix.

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

     In his first chapter of his study titled The Author, Griffith gives many different possibilities as to who the actual author of the writings is. Griffith sites many theories from other sources trying to validate the origin of the author, but settles on one basic theory for the text. The Art of War was written by a single author probably around the time of the Warring States and during the periods from 400-320 B.C. (p. 11) Furthermore, Griffith states that there is not enough evidence to positively say if a person named Sun Tzu actually wrote the book or if it was written as a tribute to him, and the case of the authorship remains un...


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...     Samuel B. Griffith’s translation of “Sun Tzu: The Art of War” is an inside look at military practices of today. I did not find one technique that is not or would not be utilized in modern military maneuver, leadership, or training. The most astounding fact is that the Art of War was written well over two thousand years ago, even at the most conservative date. Although most of the techniques in this text are already in practice today, the value of “The Art of War” is a never-ending treasure chest of knowledge, and it deserves a place as a required reading for anyone seeking knowledge about war fighting or the history of war.

Works Cited

Sun Tzu: The Art of War, Ed. By Samuel B. Griffith (New
York:Oxford University Press, 1963)

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