Selected Works

History
Charts the nature and evolution of warfare in ancient China.
A tour de force on ancient Chinese ‘spycraft’
Translations
The theoretical chapters from the innovative T'ang dynasty military manual.
"The most accurate, conscise, and usable English language translation available"
The crux itself with contemporary implications.
"A remarkable text from the widdle Warring States period"
"Should be in every library"
"Should be read by anyone interested in Chinese military thought"
A categorical compilation of early Chinese martial wisdom.
"Best of all translations I have seen of Chinese military philosophy"
The martial Tao Te Ching
The most popular Chinese oracle

Strategies for the Human Realm: Crux of the T'ai-pai Yin-ching

   Composed by Li Ch’üan (Li Quan), a provincial military official who served in the middle T’ang dynasty, the T’ai-pai Yin-ching revitalized the theoretical study of warfare in China. Remarkably comprehensive, it first focuses upon the human realm, devoting a quarter of its hundred chapters to the grand issues of government, warfare, human society, ethical values, and man’s orientation within the universe while pondering the more concrete problems of the nature of command, methods for evaluating men, the role of rewards and punishments, and the implementation of subversive measures. Instead of conquering through combat or achieving the fabled hundred victories in a hundred clashes, Li’s aim was victory without combat so as to preserve the state rather than debilitate it in warfare. (The remaining seventy-five chapters, not translated here, briefly discuss important battle equipment and techniques before unfolding extensive material on sacrifices and arcane prognosticatory methods.)