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SONSHI LIBRARY

Welcome to the Sonshi Library...when Sun Tzu's Art of War is not enough. The following lists the foremost thinkers and strategists in world history. All works are unabridged and complete. Enjoy!

William Penn "Some Fruits of Solitude in Reflections and Maxims"
william penn

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, is among our favorite thinkers. He held people in high regard, in terms of wisdom and civility, and expected everyone to pass that hurdle. Expect more of yourself and of the people around you. It is with this intention we re-introduce to readers at Sonshi.com his writings. The consummate leader and strategist should be good with both the sword and Penn.

"I find all sorts of People agree, whatsoever were their Animosities, when humbled by the Approaches of Death: Then they forgive, then they pray for, and love one another: Which shews us, that it is not our Reason, but our Passion, that makes and holds up the Feuds that reign among men in their Health and Fulness. They, therefore, that live nearest to that which they should die, must certainly live best." William Penn.

Flavius Vegetius Renatus "Military Matters"
flavius vegetius

Vegetius was a Roman of high rank. In some manuscripts he is given the title of count. He unceasingly emphasized the importance of constant drill and severe discipline and this aspect of his work was very tiresome to the soldiers of the middle ages, the feudal system lending itself but poorly to discipline.

Vegetius's work is filled with maxims that have become a part of our everyday life. "He who aspires to peace should prepare for war." "In the midst of peace, war is looked upon as an object too distant to merit consideration." "Few men are born brave; many become so through training and force of discipline."

Lao Tzu "Tao Te Ching"
lao tzu

Confucius said after having met Lao Tzu: "I know a bird can fly, a fish can swim, and an animal can run. For that which runs a net can be made; for that which swims a line can be made; for that which flies an arrow can be made. But the dragon's ascent into heaven on the wind and the clouds is something which is beyond my knowledge. It is ungraspable, unfathomable. Is not Lao Tzu like the dragon?" It has been expressed the Tao Te Ching is advice on how to rule the nation, and this political orientation seems at odds with the contemplative mysticism many see in the book, with its advice to "do nothing," with its skepticism about value judgments, and with its alienation from the conventional society.

Niccolo Machiavelli "The Art of War"
Niccolo Machiavelli

From the great political philosopher of the Renaissance, The Art of War is a discussion among Machiavelli's friends; a dialogue between the condotierri captain, Fabrizio Colonna, and each of the others in turn acting as questioner.

It is a technical treatise different from The Prince in that it discusses politics specifically related to warfare. Written in 1521, The Art of War is a first full scale modern attempt to revive classical military thought.

Theodore Roosevelt "The Rough Riders"
Theodore Roosevelt

The 26th president of the United States; writer, naturalist, and soldier. He expanded the powers of the presidency and of the federal government in support of the public interest in conflicts between big business and labor and steered the nation toward an active role in world politics, particularly in Europe and Asia.

The "Rough Riders" is Roosevelt.s personal writings on his adventures in the Spanish-American War.

Also, read his speech delivered in Paris; April 23, 1910. "...his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." One of those rare speeches that transcends all space and time.

Gaius Julius Caesar "Military Commentaries"
Gaius Julius Caesar

From the great political philosopher of the Renaissance, The Art of War is a discussion among Machiavelli's friends; a dialogue between the condotierri captain, Fabrizio Colonna, and each of the others in turn acting as questioner.

It is a technical treatise different from The Prince in that it discusses politics specifically related to warfare. Written in 1521, The Art of War is a first full scale modern attempt to revive classical military thought.

Alfred Thayer Mahan "Admiral Farragut"
Alfred Thayer Mahan

A.T. Mahan was an American naval officer and historian who was a highly influential exponent of sea power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Called the "Clausewitz of the sea," his books were avidly read in Great Britain and Germany, where they greatly influenced the buildup of naval forces in the years prior to World War I.

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut was a U.S. admiral who achieved fame for his outstanding Union naval victories during the American Civil War. Therefore "Admiral Farragut" is one of those rare times when one military genius is writing about another military genius.

Frederick II (The Great) "Military Instructions"
Frederick II (The Great)

King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786. A brilliant military campaigner who, in a series of diplomatic stratagems and wars against Austria and other powers, greatly enlarged Prussia's territories and made Prussia the foremost military power in Europe.

An enlightened absolute monarch, he favored French language and art and built a French Rococo palace, San Souci, near Berlin. Highly admired by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Confucius "The Great Learning"
Confucius

Distressed by the constant warfare between the Chinese states and by the venality and tyranny of the rulers, Confucius urged a system of morality and statecraft that would preserve peace and provide people with stable and just government. A ruler or general is not a real leader without that end purpose in mind.

General William T. Sherman "Memoirs"
General William T. Sherman

United States Army General William Tecumseh Sherman was one of the American Civil War's most successful and, to his enemies, notorious commanders.

His uncompromising nature certainly contributed to his greatest military successes, and his Civil War campaigns were closely scrutinized by the Prussian General Staff in the newly formed European state of Germany.

Xenophon "The Cavalry General"
Xenophon

Greek historian, he was one of the well-to-do young disciples of Socrates before leaving Athens to join the Greek force (the Ten Thousand) that was in the service of Cyrus the Younger of Persia.

Marcus Aurelius "Meditations"
Marcus Aurelius

Roman emperor reigning from 161 AD to 180 AD. He seems to have been a good and conscientious ruler who was magnanimous towards his enemies. He banned informers, stamped down hard on corruption, and freed slaves at every opportunity.

Meditations were written day by day, in every situation including war. They often appear to be responses to the stress of supreme power, from the imminent fear of death in battle, to the trials of everyday life.

Niccolo Machiavelli "The Prince"
Niccolo Machiavelli

The first great political philosopher of the Renaissance. This famous treatise stands apart from all other political writings of the period insofar as it focuses on the practical problems a monarch faces in staying in power, rather than more speculative issues explaining the foundation of political authority.

As such, it is an expression of realpolitik, that is, governmental policy based on retaining power rather than pursuing ideals.

Carl von Clausewitz "On War"
Carl von Clausewitz

Prussian army officer and military theorist who proposed the doctrines of total war and war as an instrument of policy. His treatise was published posthumously. Drawing on the experiences of Frederick the Great and Napoleon, Clausewitz tried to analyze the workings of these military geniuses by isolating the factors that decide success in war.

His conclusions have remained generally applicable, and since his work contains a minimum of technical discussion, it has retained a wide appeal. He emphasized the importance of psychological and accidental factors that elude exact calculation and the necessity of a critical approach to strategic problems.

Sonshi.com's Sun Tzu "Art of War"
Sonshi.com's Sun Tzu 'Art of War'

Sonshi.com's Sun Tzu "The Art of War" took over a year to complete. It is not the common Giles version found on many websites. Countless hours were required to meticulously translate each individual character from the original Chinese text, cross referenced with six major English editions.

Finally, an Art of War version you can feel good about reading!

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