Written 2500 years ago, The Art of War is the oldest military treatise in the world, a classic study of competition and rivalry that has been utilized by soldiers ever since. Napoleon studied its strategies and tactics. It is required reading for intelligence personnel in the United States Marine Corps. “Warriors” of Wall Street and in corporation cultures rely on it for guidance. It’s even been rumored to help players win at the board game Risk. This 1910 translation by the British Museum’s Lionel Giles is the most popular one available, a highly readable version of this still startlingly relevant text. SUN TZU lived in China in the 6th century B.C. and was a contemporary of Confucius. LIONEL GILES also translated The Book of Mencius and Sayings of Confucius.
Translated from the Chinese with Introduction and Critical Notes by Lionel Giles, M.A.
III. ATTACK BY STRATAGEM
1. Sun Tzu said: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.
[The equivalent to an army corps, according to Ssu-ma Fa, consisted nominally of 12500 men; according to Ts`ao Kung, the equivalent of a regiment contained 500 men, the equivalent to a detachment consists from any number between 100 and 500, and the equivalent of a company contains from 5 to 100 men. For the last two, however, Chang Yu gives the exact figures of 100 and 5 respectively.]
2. Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.
[Here again, no modern strategist but will approve the words of the old Chinese general. Moltke’s
greatest triumph, the capitulation of the huge French army at Sedan, was won practically without bloodshed.]
3. Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy’s plans;
[Perhaps the word “balk” falls short of expressing the full force of the Chinese word, which implies not an attitude of defense, whereby one might be content to foil the enemy’s stratagems one after another, but an active policy of counter- attack. Ho Shih puts this very clearly in his note: “When the enemy has made a plan of attack against us, we must anticipate him by delivering our own attack first.”]
the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy’s forces;
[Isolating him from his allies. We must not forget that Sun Tzu, in speaking of hostilities, always has in mind the numerous states or principalities into which the China of his day was split up.]
the next in order is to attack the enemy’s army in the field;
[When he is already at full strength.]
and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.
4. The rule is, not to besiege walled cities if it can possibly be avoided.
[Another sound piece of military theory. Had the Boers acted upon it in 1899, and refrained from dissipating their strength before Kimberley, Mafeking, or even Ladysmith, it is more than probable that they would have been masters of the situation before the British were ready seriously to oppose them.]
The preparation of mantlets, movable shelters, and various implements of war, will take up three whole months;
[It is not quite clear what the Chinese word, here translated as “mantlets”, described. Ts`ao Kung simply defines them as “large shields,” but we get a better idea of them from Li Ch`uan, who says they were to protect the heads of those who were assaulting the city walls at close quarters. This seems to suggest a sort of Roman TESTUDO, ready made. Tu Mu says they were wheeled vehicles used in repelling attacks, but this is denied by Ch`en Hao. See supra II. 14. The name is also applied to turrets on city walls. Of the “movable shelters” we get a fairly clear description from several commentators. They were wooden missile-proof structures on four wheels, propelled from within, covered over with raw hides, and used in sieges to convey parties of men to and from the walls, for the purpose of filling up the encircling moat with earth. Tu Mu adds that they are now called “wooden donkeys.”]
and the piling up of mounds over against the walls will take three months more.
[These were great mounds or ramparts of earth heaped up to the level of the enemy’s walls in order to discover the weak points in the defense, and also to destroy the fortified turrets mentioned in the preceding note.]
5. The general, unable to control his irritation, will launch his men to the assault like swarming ants,
Download “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu for your Kindle:
Befitting the classy lady that she is, Mrs. Walters has penned an extremely honest, revealing and often painful summary of an interesting and fulfilling life.
Not being able to drive, cook, or athletic in any way, including being unable to even ride a horse, makes Barbara seem almost normal: Her humanity comes through in so many ways that she now feels like a member of the family, the family of humanity: and not the calculating, hyper-testosterone, driven pseudo-masculine “ball-busting” “kill-or-be-killed witch” persona that she is often accused of projecting.
If having to care for her entire family after her father’s “ups and downs,” and then finally “down and out” business life was not enough, then her relationship with her “less than normal sister,” troubles with her adopted daughter, her social isolation, and her struggles against a male dominated world, brings her humanity clearly into focus in a way that no other aspects of her life ever could have done.
After reading so much pabulum masquerading as autobiography (Hilary Clinton’s “Living History” for instance), it is refreshing to read one that actually reveals a life actually lived and one, worth living. – reviewed by Herbert L Calhoun “paulocal”
Mr. Zakaria has written a short primer (250+ pages of text) about where the world is today and the role he sees the United States playing in the future. His assessment, for the most part, is fair, balanced and nonpartisan. And though the title of his treatise–The Post-American World–sounds pessimistic, in reality Mr. Zakaria sees the glass half full.
The principal weakness of the book is a product of its brevity: the author paints in broad strokes, providing a sweeping assessment of the dynamic changes that have unfolded on the world scene over the past twenty-five years. This invariably results in some over-generalizations and assessments that are not sufficiently nuanced. For example, in responding to concerns about China’s growing power and influence, he quotes several Chinese officials who repeatedly reassure the listener that, notwithstanding its recent advances, China still lags behind the United States in so many areas; consequently, it poses no real threat to America or its neighbors. Instead of taking these sentiments at face value, Mr. Zakaria should remember, as Margaret Macmillan astutely noted in her recent book, “Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World,” that the Chinese are the past masters at using self-effacement to lure their adversaries into a state of complacency.
The greatest strengths of the book are explaining to the reader how much the world has changed over the past 25 years (did you know that China now exports more goods and services in a single day than it did in all of 1978?), while illuminating the course corrections the United States needs to make so that it can continue to influence the evolution of globalization. I was surprised to discover that the simple truths taught by Adam Smith have lifted more people above the poverty line in the last 25 years (400 million in China alone) than all the government assistance programs of all the countries in the world since the beginning of time. But I was dismayed to learn that the polices of free trade, liberal immigration, technological change and open government that are the source of this global revolution are no longer warmly received in the United States. Mr. Zakaria notes that in 2007 the Pew Global Attitudes Survey polled citizens in 47 countries for purposes of measuring the extent to which they have positive views about free trade and open markets. Guess where the U.S. came in? Dead last. Mr. Zakaria observes that in the five years the survey has been done, no country has seen as great a drop-off as the United States. It’s as if, he says, that for the past sixty years we have extolled the virtues of free markets, immigration, technological change, competition, and democracy, and now that the rest of the world has finally decided to take our advice, “we are becoming suspicious of the very things we have long celebrated.” (p. 48).
If you want to look in the mirror and see the warts and disappointments, along with the beauty and promise, of America, read this book. You and our country will be better for it. – reviewed by Eric F. Facer “E. Facer”
Chelsea has this cleverness and sense of humor that is undeniable and very infectious. I absolutely love this woman and think she is one of the funniest people ever! Chelsea’s second book is laugh out loud funny. I read it in 3 days because I could not put it down. I actually was laughing out loud in many, many chapters.
A compilation of essays that are divided into chapters, this book is a must have. Follows along the same lines as her first book; My Horizontal Life. Her knack for telling her own stories is dead on. It almost feels like you were there with her. This book is a must for anyone’s collection and I gurantee you will not be able to sop laughing or be able to put it down. – reviewed by Josh “JAC”
* These reviews are taken from Amazon.com customer/editor reviews and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions blogkindle.com
Top 5 Books In Each Category
1. THE HOST, by Stephenie Meyer
2. SUNDAYS AT TIFFANY’S, by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
3. PHANTOM PREY, by John Sandford
4. THE WHOLE TRUTH, by David Baldacci
5. CARELESS IN RED, by Elizabeth George
1. AUDITION, by Barbara Walters
2. HOME, by Julie Andrews
3. ARE YOU THERE, VODKA? IT’S ME, CHELSEA, by Chelsea Handler
4. A REMARKABLE MOTHER, by Jimmy Carter
5. THE POST-AMERICAN WORLD, by Fareed Zakaria
1. THE LAST LECTURE, by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow
2. JUST WHO WILL YOU BE?, by Maria Shriver
3. THE SECRET, by Rhonda Byrne
4. THE ONE MINUTE ENTREPRENEUR, by Ken Blanchard, Don Hutson and Ethan Willis
5. THE SOUTH BEACH DIET SUPERCHARGED, by Arthur Agatston with Joseph Signorile
1. READ ALL ABOUT IT!, by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush
2. GALLOP!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder
3. SOMEDAY, by Alison McGhee
4. DIRT ON MY SHIRT, by Jeff Foxworthy
5. ALPHABET, by Matthew Van Fleet
Paperback Trade Fiction
1. THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB, by Kate Jacobs
2. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, by Sara Gruen
3. THE KITE RUNNER, by Khaled Hosseini
4. THE MEMORY KEEPER’S DAUGHTER, by Kim Edwards
5. NINETEEN MINUTES, by Jodi Picoult
Paperback Mass-Market Fiction
1. THE HOLLOW, by Nora Roberts
2. THE GOOD GUY, by Dean Koontz
3. INVISIBLE PREY, by John Sandford
4. THE BOURNE BETRAYAL, by Eric Van Lustbader
5. SIMPLE GENIUS, by David Baldacci
1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
3. MARLEY & ME, by John Grogan
4. THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, by Barack Obama
5. 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN, by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey
1. A NEW EARTH, by Eckhart Tolle
2. THE POWER OF NOW, by Eckhart Tolle
3. HUNGRY GIRL, by Lisa Lillien
4. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
5. SKINNY BITCH, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
In a joint statement today, Amazon.com and Simon & Schuster said will make 5,000 additional titles available for the Amazon Kindle in 2008.
“At Simon & Schuster, we are excited by how many Kindle books we’re selling and the feedback from readers who want to read our titles on their Kindles. We have also learned that readers aren’t just looking for new or bestselling books, but also books that are older or hard to find,” said Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO, Simon & Schuster, Inc. “These are the books that have proven themselves to be of enduring interest, and we want readers to be able to find them anytime, anywhere. We are pleased to take another big step toward that goal by making this great percentage of our active backlist available on Kindle by the end of 2008.”
“Kindle is re-igniting a love of reading — after purchasing a Kindle, customers purchase, on average, just as many physical books, and their total book purchases on Amazon increase by 2.6x. Kindle books are also becoming a meaningful portion of Amazon’s overall book sales much sooner than we anticipated — of the 125,000 books available both as a physical book and on Kindle, Kindle books already account for over 6 percent of units sold,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “This commitment from Simon & Schuster moves us closer to our vision for Kindle, which is to make any book, ever printed, in any language available in less than 60 seconds.”
Simon & Schuster said that it will be doubleing their content available for the Kindle.
One particular sentence in the statement stood out to me;
…after purchasing a Kindle, customers purchase, on average, just as many physical books, and their total book purchases on Amazon increase by 2.6x
2.6 times! I’m sure the executives at Amazon are thrilled with this particular statistic, it could mean that the Kindle has been a profitable ‘experiment’ — as Amazon puts it — from day one. I have no doubt that Simon & Schuster, and other publishers, want to grab a piece of the action now that they are aware of just how many e-books Kindle owners are buying.
Our old friend Walt Mossberg sat down with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos this morning at the “D: All Things Digital Conference”.
Walt Mossberg gave the Kindle a luke-warm reception back in November calling it “mediocre” and “marred by annoying flaws”. He liked the idea and the shopping experience behind the Kindle, but thought that the device itself was where Kindle’s flaw lied.
Jeff Bezos does his normal sales pitch about the Kindle, but this time he throws in a bit of new information about Kindle sales. Walt asks point blank “How many Kindles have you sold?” Jeff politely refused to answer the question instead he gave us a new stat: “Title-by-title basis…Kindle unit sales more than 6% of total book sales”. So of the 125,000 titles available for Kindle, of all those 125,000 titles that were sold — digital and print — Kindle accounted for 6% of sales. Jeff also said he envisioned a time when e-book sales formed a substantial portion of book sales at Amazon.
Jeff Bezos also commented on a Kindle v2:
“There will be a second version, a third version, a tenth version. … but a second version is not that near.”
It may take a decade to get the product to where Amazon wants it, he said. So this has confirmed what many thought, that Amazon is committed to the Kindle and there will be a Kindle v2 release sometime in the future.
The interview wasn’t just limited to talk about the Kindle, Bezos also talks about the streaming video-on-demand service for Amazon, which will be released in the next couple of weeks amongst other things.
If you have an image that you would like to submit for Kindle Photo of the Day, then please get in touch! you can send the image via email to – please make sure you include your name and a link to your site.
You may be noticed that Amazon cut the price of the Kindle to $359 today, whilst $40 isn’t the big price cut many people people were hoping for, its still better than nothing. There is good news for you early adopters out there who paid the original $399, Amazon doesn’t mind giving you back the $40 extra you paid in the form of credit into your Amazon account.
Paul Robichaux, a Kindle owner wrote on his blog:
Excellent! Amazon dropped the price on the Amazon Kindle, which I’m still using quite a bit. (David has been trying to steal it to read that free Star Wars book I downloaded, too). The price is now $359, so I e-mailed them to ask for a price credit– which they promptly issued. That $40 will buy me at least four more books, O happy day.
You too can shoot Amazon customer support an e-mail asking for a price credit, just follow the link and then press the yellow contact us button on the right hand side. Good luck!
Let us know if you got your $40 back and what you purchased with it.
UPDATE: It appears that Amazon is only giving credit to the people who bought their Kindle on the 27th April onwards under their 30 day price drop policy, I apologise for any confusion.
Amazon updated the Kindle product page this morning with a 10% reduction in the price of the Kindle, the price drop is a welcome one and also includes free 2-day shipping. So if you have been waiting for the price to drop before purchasing a Kindle, now is your chance to get one before stocks run out again!
The price drop was expected, as predicted by most analysts, further drops are expected in the future but that all depends on a stable supply of Kindle devices. The reason Kindle has been out of stock so frequently is because a single factory has been manufacturing the Kindles, so far supply has FAR exceeded demand, but just over a month ago Amazon brought on-line a second factory, which should create a more stable supply of Kindle devices.
Amazon is expect to drop the price around 15% a year, so by 2010 the device should be priced at around $300 in line with expectations, meaning I wouldn’t expect another price drop until around Christmas time.
Tor Books is a major hardcover and paperback science fiction and fantasy publisher, one of the largest in the English-speaking world, it announced recently that it was working on a new community website which would be a “go-to site, a central community” for science fiction and fantasy fans, this website will act, in part, as a form of branding and promotion for Tor book titles. The site will also implement light social networking elements and publish original short fiction and nonfiction for free online, all DRM free.
A science fiction and fantasy site not quite like any you’ve seen before, mixing news, commentary, original stories and art, your own comments and conversations, and more. A place on the net you may find yourself wanting to visit—and participate in—every day.
While there isnt any more information on the site Patrick Nielsen Hayden is on the team that is developing the site, he had this to say;
But we know several things. We know that the site will use a blog-like architecture to present an ongoing stream of news, opinion, and observation from various Tor people, myself included, about the SF and fantasy events of the day—and about perhaps less-current things that are nonetheless of interest to SF and fantasy readers, such as medieval siege engines, the Van Allen Belt, hoisin sauce, XKCD, and the novels of Georgette Heyer. We know that there will be non-Tor bloggers also posting to the “front page”; in fact we’ve already recruited several in order to ensure coverage of particular niche areas. (Some of these individuals will be familiar to Making Light readers—wave hello, Bruce Baugh—and we haven’t finished recruiting, either.) We know that the site will also feature new original fiction on a regular basis, illustrated under the supervision of art director Irene Gallo, and that these original stories—free of DRM, offered as part of the blog feed and also Available For Your Convenience in a variety of other formats—will have their own associated open comment threads, just like everything else on the blog. We know that there will be lightweight “social networking” features for registered users, including the ability to form mutual-interest groups through tagging and the ability to create journals and/or discussions of their own. Most of all, we know that the real point of the exercise isn’t to create yet another blog, but rather, a place and a context for the lively, ongoing, wide-ranging, and profoundly self-organizing discussions that have characterized the science fiction subculture since its earliest days. In other words, it’ll be a lot like Making Light, except with original fiction and art, more front-page bloggers, a more direct connection to SF and fantasy, and run out of the middle of Tor Books.
From what I have gathered from various sources a few dozen authors have already been approached to submit their work, Tor is possible paying upward of 25 cents per word for some of the stories from the prominent authors. Once the titles are published on the site they will also be accompanied by commissioned artwork.
Beta testers can apply to join the private beta by sending an email to [email protected], however that maybe unnecessary since the launch may be imminent – it is due for launch sometime in May.
The concept of the site sounds amazing, and there isn’t anything remotely like it anywhere on the web. Even if they implement half of what they are trying to do, the site will be a huge success. So if you love your science fiction and fantasy book, sign up for the newsletter and stay tuned in for the launch.
One of the features of the Kindle is the amazing eInk display which unlike LCD displays reduces eye strain and makes you forget you are reading on an electronic device. However, because the eInk display mimics ink, it requires no backlighting – so just like traditional books when you are reading in the dark you need a light source.
Have you ever read your Kindle on an aeroplane and didn’t want to turn the overhead lights on, or ever been in bed with your partner who is fast asleep and don’t want to disturb them by turning the light on – that’s where having a lighting source becomes advantageous – it’s when the Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Light becomes advantageous.
The “Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Light” is a clip on device which is operated by 2 Super LED lights. It clips on to the back of your Kindle or Kindle case and provide you with enough light to read your e-books no matter what the lighting conditions you are in.
The Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Light is a battery operated clamp on accessory custom designed to illuminate your Kindle Wireless Reading device. Two Super LED lights in one head gives you the lighting power of 6 normal LED’s. Brilliant light output! You have the option of using one or two of the Super LED lights with just a simple tap to our proprietary sensor switch. The flexible neck allows you to position your lighting anywhere you want it. With the XtraFlex2, you can take your Kindle anywhere – in bed, on the bus or train, and have proper illumination at your fingertips!
According to Amazon it is also one of the best-selling Kindle accessories available on the market, it is easy to see why. You will find that the light is very bright even on the lowest setting, the neck is long, slim, flexible and will stay in position no matter which way you bend it. The LED’s come with a blue tinge, so it takes a little getting used to, but it isn’t as harsh as bright white light you normally get on other similar devices. Lets have a look at the technical details:
Two SUPER LED’s as bright as six regular LED’s and never need replacing!
LumaLenz™ Optical grade lens spreads light evenly with no hot spots
MightyGrip™ Strong wide mouth clip grips almost anything, or use free standing as a task light.
MightFlex™ Fully adjustable arm will position and hold light in place
Designed for attachment to your Kindle book cover
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Batteries: 3 AAA batteries required.
Your probably wondering how this would sit on the Kindle, a helpful user on the Amazon forums has posted up some pictures so you can see exactly how it clips onto the back of the Kindle case.
“You’ll really want the Mighty Bright light. With the cover folded back it clips neatly to the back. And unlike many LED booklights, it uses common AAA batteries, not the expensive, hard-to-find button ones.” – JOEKC “JKC”
“Another view of the attached Mighty Bright light. When properly attached, the left side of the cover provides a good place to grasp without hitting page buttons.” – JOEKC “JKC”
“Small and bright.”
Overall it is a solidly built, bright accessory for the Kindle and at $17.26 it is not expensive either and with an Amazon.com rating of 4.5, the vast majority of Kindle owners are thrilled with this Mighty Bright light. You can find out more about the Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Light by visiting the product page on Amazon.
Every Sunday night we will bring you our selection of Kindle and Amazon related links from around the web. Compiled from blogs, magazines, main stream media and other sources, we hope these links will give you a definitive overview of what’s happening regarding the Kindle and what the Kindle community is talking about.