The Book of Stratagems: 2tactics for Triumph and Survival

Harro Von Senger, Author, Myron B. Gubitz, Editor, Harro Von Senger, Author
Harro Von Senger, Author, Myron B. Gubitz, Editor, Harro Von Senger, Author Viking Books $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-670-83962-9
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-14-016954-6
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Collated by a Swiss sinologist, this is a highly compressed series of schemes and tricks known in China as the 36 Stratagems. Most obviously applicable in warfare, they are allegedly a useful means of gaining an advantage over enemies, opponents and rivals, whether in business, law, sports or other fields. Some of the stratagems are self-explanatory--Stratagem No. 10: Hide Your Dagger Behind a Smile --but most require explication--No. 16: To Catch Something, First Let It Go . Accompanying each of the 18 stratagems here (another 18 will be discussed in a second volume) are examples from history, legend and folktale, ranging from the Old Testament story of Joshua at Jericho (which illustrates a stratagem called Clamor in the East, Attack in the West ) to the 1944 Allied invasion of Normandy (illustrating Openly Repair the Walkway, Secretly March to Chencang ). As von Senger remarks, knowledge of the stratagems ``can provide a key to much of Chinese thinking.'' Beyond that, they are highly entertaining, thought-provoking, possibly even effective. (Dec.)
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