Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recommended: The Great Courses "Art of War" Class

I recently purchased and listened to an audio course titled The Art of War (TAOW) by Prof Andrew R. Wilson and published by The Great Courses. From the first few minutes I knew this series of six 30 minute lessons was going to be great.

For example, did you know that "Sun Tzu" didn't write "The Art of War?" An anonymous author wrote the book in the 4th century BC, based on Sun Tzu's lessons from his time in the 6th century BC.

Also, "The Art of War" isn't even the name of the book! It's actually "Master Sun's Military Method." Furthermore, the use of the term "Master" is significant as it was a term not usually associated with generals.

I especially like two aspects of the course. First, the lecturer, paraphrasing his own words, didn't choose to simply peruse TAOW looking for trite phrases. He equates that approach with telling a stock broker to "buy low, sell high." Instead, Prof Wilson is more concerned with explaining the context for the book and what the words really mean.

Second, the lecturer extends his discussion beyond the history of China's Warring States Period, the era from which TAOW was born. Prof Wilson applies lessons from the book to military history and business situations. He also applies TAOW to modern Chinese cyber espionage, showing he keeps current with contemporary issues.

Consider buying TAOW as a holiday gift for yourself or your friends!

1 comment:

Anthony said...

Thanks for the info. I am hoping to read 'The Art of War' or 'Master Sun's Military Methods' sometime in the summer--might look at the lecture series as well.