The School of Sun Tzu: Winning Empires without War

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Notice of Publication

Author: David G. Jones B.A., M.A., Fellow of the University of King’s College

Awards: Designated a “Rising Star” and “Editor’s Choice” by iUniverse

Format: 5.5×8.5 Perfect Bound

Price: Hardcover $37.95; Softcover $27.95; eBook $3.99

Availability: and; the author

Page Count: 420

Category: HIS027000

Lessons for negotiators, relationship managers, national leaders and diplomats gained from the strategies that ended the period of the Warring States in China, and helped found the First Empire.

Globally, conditions are reminiscent of an epoch 2000 years ago, in what is now China. Conflict is ubiquitous and continuing. War is happening somewhere every day. Attempts at establishing harmony are frustrated. The fervent wish of many is that means be found to open channels between opposing parties, build trust and strong relationships that will allow people to move forward collectively. How can this be done?

My research, now published as The School of Sun Tzu, examines in detail how a small state – over two millennia ago – was able to end 254 years of war, and then bond those warring states into the Chinese empire. All that was achieved in just two decades – through diplomatic means.

The School of Sun Tzu links, for the first time, the history of the foundation of China as a nation with the method used to make it happen. That method included a treatise on principles and philosophy known as the Tao Te Ching, today one of the most frequently published and translated works in the world. It was the mate of a manual for organizational and inter-organizational management that we know today as The Art of War, but whose title was actually Ping-fa, or The Art of Diplomacy. Ping-fa’s messages include instructions in communications, leadership, command and control, intelligence and planning. These two works were the tools for peace- and nation-building.

This consequential review of China’s foundation is an inter-disciplinary study by a social anthropologist with extensive experience in public and private management, planning and policy. That combination of education, experience and skill allowed author David G. Jones to unearth links that have not been defined until now. He began his examination by studying the Tao Te Ching and Ping-fa. He questioned when these works were written, by whom, and to what use were they applied. The commentary on these works does not address these critical issues. But it is widely recognized by writers and readers alike that these works were, and are momentous. The nature of that importance has remained unclear.

Despite the prevalent notion that the Tao Te Ching and Ping-fa were written by individuals “some time in Chinese antiquity,” they first appeared just shortly before China’s founding in 221 BCE. They are policy and practice: the products of enlightened individuals working in concert. Learned persons had been recruited from the known world to find the rationale and process by which war could end and peace prevail.

The Tao Te Ching is a comprehensive and integrated framework of principles and policies for good government, and a people’s relationship to each other and to that government. It is so elegant many assume it to be a religious treatise. Stripped of its military language, Ping-fa’s real messages emerge. The army at war metaphor was a device intended to assist learning and memorization. The commentary assumes this medium was actually the message.

The small Middle Kingdom state of Qin was able – in a few short years – to establish the Chinese empire without force, or conflict. Their tools were propaganda, persuasion and intrigue. The event, and the methods used constitute achievements of global significance. They have not been articulated until now.

The School of Sun Tzu details for the first time just how incredible was first emperor Qin Shi Huang, and how significant were his achievements. That detail emerges when one strips away the shroud of disinformation that was built around the person of Qin Shi Huang for reasons of politics alone. Today he is known only as a tyrant who built the Great Wall. None of that is true. Millions visit his terracotta soldier surrounded mausoleum each year and are reminded, again and again, that he was a ruthless murderer who hated the common people.

First emperor Qin Shi Huang needs to have his honor and reputation restored by China. His discoveries need to be studied by those dedicated to advancing the causes of conflict-free management and international peace.


Interested in managing without conflict – in your personal and professional life? Think that war is inevitable? Here’s my book on the way to peace.


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