If you are talking to a western person about Sun Tzu the most common pronunciation is "Sun Sue" like the Sun in the sky plus a boy named Sue. This is nothing like the correct Chinese pronunciation which is "Sun Tzzz" Sun rhymes with un in the German word "unter" or the Spanish-English word (Military) "junta" plus Tzzz like the last sound you make when you say "words".
The legend goes that Sun Tzu was born into minor nobility in what is now Shandong, a part of China north of Shanghai that became famous for Confucius and the really tasty Shandong Chicken. Born "Sun Wu", he was given a good education and like Machiavelli, he wrote a military treatise in order to get noticed and hired by royalty. Unlike Machiavelli, it worked.
Sun Wu expanded his 13 chapter Art of War into 82 chapters and trained the army. Eventually he broke the peace by invading the southern state of Yue. Other conflicts ensured but although his troops were once outnumbered 30,000 to 200,000 he was always victorious. Many successes followed and continued after his death. Some considered his death to be another of his deceptions.
Finally though, the kingdom was defeated several years after his reported death. Just over 100 years later his descendant, Sun Bing, lead troops to victory again and wrote his own treatise. Sun Wu's name was changed to Sun Tzu on the Art of War as a sign of his status a master of philosophy. The "Tzu - " is similarly shared with Lao Tzu - , and Confucius (whose Chinese name is Kon Tzu - ).
THE ART OF WARby SUN TZU
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Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is already present within us. Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world, as eagerly studied in Asia by modern politicians and executives as it has been by military leaders since ancient times. As a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict, The Art of War applies to competition and conflict in general, on every level from the interpersonal to the international. Its aim is invincibility, victory without battle, and unassailable strength through understanding the physics, politics, and psychology of conflict.
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