- Capa comum: 640 páginas
- Editora: Basic Books; Edição: Revised ed. (6 de fevereiro de 2004)
- Idioma: Inglês
- ISBN-10: 0813342406
- ISBN-13: 978-0813342405
- Dimensões do produto: 15,2 x 3,8 x 22,9 cm
- Peso do produto: 1 Kg
The Tao Of Spycraft: Intelligence Theory And Practice In Traditional China (Inglês) Capa Comum – 6 fev 2004
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The author also highlights the tension between the ideals of Confucianism and Realpolitik which has historically tended to weaken China and also give a wrong impression to the world about what China is really like.
The title of the book is a bit of a misnomer, or perhaps it may be more accurate to say that the author did not keep the content of the book in line with the title. “The Tao of Spycraft” suggested to me that the book would deal with espionage and spying but this was only true for the first three sections covering nine chapters. These are filled with many fascinating examples from Chinese history of how espionage was carried out. But as we progress farther into the book there are fewer and fewer examples of how the subject matter of the chapters is related to espionage. It is fascinating reading nonetheless but an effort could have been made to relate the topics of discussion to actual historical examples. For example chapter 10, which is in the section on “Theories of Evaluating and Intelligence”, verges on the esoteric in its discussion of the Chinese theories of reality. Digesting it would have been easier if the reader had been rewarded by seeing how this played out in reality with some historical examples. The final chapter regarding divination and prognostication was particularly disappointing as it was basically a translation of some texts with little or no commentary what to speak historical examples.
One major flaw in the book that could have easily been avoided is the complete absence of any maps of ancient China showing the geographical positions of the various States who are the main protagonists in the book. I had to resort to the internet to find out where Chin, Lu, Wie, etc. are located. This is an easy to fix lacuna and hopefully future editions will include them. Another irritation is the spelling of Chinese names. What exactly is the difference between Chin and Ch’in? Another mildly irritating usage was the use of unusual turns of phrase. One that surfaced quite often was “fullness and vacuity” which I suppose means strengths and weakness of the state or army. Perhaps such turns of phrase are meant to convey a certain Chinese flavor, but I think that could have been done in a less awkward way.
All in all it was a good book. I learned a lot and looked forward to reading it for an hour or two or even three every evening.