Reviews - What do customers think about Amazing Secrets of Sun Tzu's The Art of War Audio Version (Mastering Sun Tzu's Strategy)?
Riddled with problems Mar 5, 2002
This audio CD is written and presented by Gary Gagliardi, loosely based on Sun Tzu's classic material. In Mr. Gagliardi's book of the same name, Mr. Gagliardi informs the reader that he "... discovered a previously unknown geometric side of Sun Tzu's concepts" (p. x) while he was preparing slides for his lecture material. In essence, Mr. Gagliardi began flow charting diagrams based on what he was reading, and drew a logic parallel to similar ancient Chinese concepts, such as five element theory, and yin/yang theory (all used in Chinese medicine and astrology). Mr. Gagliardi believes that it is possible (and "increasingly likely" (p. x)) similar type diagrams may have been used by Sun Tzu to explain the abstract concepts of competition. In Mr. Gagliardi's opinion, these so-called hidden diagrams are the "amazing secrets" he believes he has discovered and revealed for the first time in his book.
Once again, Mr. Gagliardi proves how little he actually knows about this subject. The Art of War was written by Sun Tzu, who was Taoist. A proper reading of the Art of War reveals numerous references to the Tao, as well as other ancient Chinese concepts such as Yin/Yang. The structure of Taoist core material is central to seeing the structure and philosophical tones of Sun Tzu's work. Authors with valid backgrounds in studying and interpreting Chinese source documents (such as Griffith, Ames, Cleary and Sawyer) have pointed this out as early as the 1960's. The influence of Taoism on the writing and presentation of Sun Tzu's material has been known and appreciated by the Western Scholarly community since 1910, and the work of Lionel Giles.
Mr. Gagliardi attempts to apply the lessons of Sun Tzu's The Art of War to business practice and corporate thought, based on his understanding of the work, as well as his background in sales, marketing and management theory. The problem with Mr. Gagliardi's writing style is he continually asserts that he is the foremost authority on Sun Tzu's material outside of China - particularly in the area of applying the lessons to competition. These messages permeate all of his books, as well as his website. He is not. In fact, he is far from it.
While the original text of The Art of War is profound on countless levels, and the basic tenants of Sun Tzu have been successfully applied to areas such as business for years... quite simply, Mr. Gagliardi's version of these theories are less than insightful, not very original, and are often flat out wrong - even when he attempts to present them as business lessons.