Item description for On Guerrilla Warfare by Tse-tung Mao & Samuel B. Griffith...
'One of the most influential documents of our time, Mao Tse-tung's pamphlet on guerrilla warfare has become the basic textbook for waging revolution in underdeveloped and emergent areas throughout the world. Recognizing the fundamental disparity between agrarian and urban societies, Mao advocated unorthodox strategies that converted deficits into advantages: using intelligence provided by the sympathetic peasant population; substituting deception, mobility, and surprise for superior firepower; using retreat as an offensive move; and educating the inhabitants on the ideological basis of the struggle.This radical new approach to warfare, waged in jungles and mountains by mobile guerrilla bands closely supported by local inhabitants, has been adopted by other revolutionary leaders from Ho Chi Minh to Che Guevara. Mao wrote On Guerrilla Warfare in 1937 while in retreat after ten years of battling the Nationalist army of Chiang Kai-shek. Twelve years later, the Nationalist Chinese were rousted from the mainland, and Mao consolidated his control of a new nation, having put his theories of revolutionary guerrilla warfare to the test. Established governments have slowly come to recognize the need to understand and devise means to counter this new method of warfare. Samuel B. Griffith's classic translation makes Mao's treatise widely available and includes a comprehensive introduction that profiles Mao, analyzes the nature and conduct of guerrilla warfare, and considers its implications for American policy'.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2007
ISBN 956310014X ISBN13 9789563100143
Reviews - What do customers think about On Guerrilla Warfare?
TriggerHippie.com Review Apr 29, 2010
In the midst of seemingly perpetual conflicts, it's interesting to understand the nuanced nature of war and the variety of views that are used to justify action that steps beyond non-violent resistance. On Guerilla Warfare vividly illustrates the desperation that leads a group of people to resort to guerilla tactics. Rather than simply demonizing guerilla fighters as a disruption to efforts in attaining some form of global tranquility, Mao Tse-tung explains the mindset of the guerilla fighter.
Translated by Samuel B. Griffith II, On Guerilla Warfare provides a concise venture into the mindset of a guerilla fighter. Extending beyond a simple explanation of tactics, Mao Tse-tung explains the delicate balance between the guerilla as a soldier and the guerilla as an activist/organizer. Although brief in nature, the book manages to explain the realities of guerilla warfare rather than perpetuating the stereotype of the hardened, professional traipsing through the jungle.
Tse-tung explains the many facets of guerilla warfare including organizational structure, overarching strategy, methods of resupply, and recruitment. In addition Tse-tung delineates the varying methods through which guerillas can be utilized alongside regular military troops. Although On Guerilla Warfare is full of information on the technicalities of military insurgency, it also peppered with inspirational and philosophical knowledge regarding the nature of resistance.
Personally, I think On Guerilla Warfare is useful information for any soldier. It explains the mindset of the guerilla fighter (or the insurgent fighter) and illuminates the similarities in tactics between traditional and non-traditional soldiers. Tse-tung brings a certain sense of relevance in showing that war is not simply a one-sided endeavor.
They Won, the West Lost Apr 24, 2010
Key concepts from Mao Tse-tung's "On Guerilla Warfare" include:
Ch 1: What is Guerilla Warfare? Guerilla Warfare "derives from the masses and is supported by them, it can neither exist nor flourish if it separates itself from their sympathies and cooperation" (p. 44).
Ch 2: The Relation of Guerilla Hostilities to Regular Operations: "The concept that guerilla warfare is an end in itself and that guerilla activities can be divorced from those of the regular forces is incorrect" (p. 55).
Ch 3: Guerilla Warfare in History: "Guerilla operations alone cannot produce final victory" (p.62).
Ch 4: Can Victory Be Attained By Guerilla Operations? "The establishment of innumerable anti-Japanese bases behind the enemy's lines will force him to fight unceasingly in many places at once, both to his front and his rear" (p. 68).
Ch 5: Organization for Guerilla Warfare. Seven types of guerilla units are described, but the "fountainhead of guerilla warfare is in the masses of the people" (p. 73). He also describes self defense units and youth organizations.
Ch 6: The Political Problems of Guerilla Warfare. "Military action is a method used to attain a political goal...it is impossible to separate one from the other" (p. 89). The stated `Three Rules and Eight Remarks' are as applicable today as they were 70 years ago.
Ch 7: The Strategy of Guerilla Resistance Against Japan. "The primary functions of guerillas are three: first, to conduct a war on exterior lines, that is, in the rear of the enemy; second, to establish bases; and, last, to extend the war areas" (p. 95).
Mao's first few chapters defend "guerilla operations" from his detractors in 1937 and reinforce that the communist guerilla fighters needed to work with the "traditional" military to defeat the Japanese invaders. The final chapter borrows maxims from Sun Tzu's Art of War to include an emphasis upon speed, knowing one's enemy, and using an indirect approach. U.S. leaders could read and apply timeless lessons from Mao to our current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This book has a terrific introduction and observations by the translator, Samuel B Griffith.
Dr. B Leland Baker, author of Tea Party Revival, The Conscience of a Conservative Reborn Tea Party Revival: The Conscience of a Conservative Reborn: The Tea Party Revolt Against Unconstrained Spending and Growth of the Federal Government
Mandatory reading for students of guerrilla warfare. Jul 26, 2009
There are very few books written by guerrillas on actually how to prosecute a guerrilla war, so this work must be given credit for originality alone. Mao's work has become a classic as a general overview of how to conduct irregular warfare against a traditionally organized army. Many of Mao's one-liners have become guerrilla warfare maxims like the guerrilla being a fish swimming in an ocean of people. Today, Mao's ideas of being polite to the populace, using indirect means to fight the enemy, and incorporating propaganda into every combat operation are accepted as basic tenets of guerrilla warfare.
While Mao's work is a must read for understanding the evolution of resistance methodology, Mao gets low marks for being focused on the narrow problem-set which was his personal war against the invading Japanese and Chiang Kai-shek. The single biggest error by Mao is his assertion that guerrilla warfare is only useful as an adjunct to conventional warfare. The FLN in Algeria would disagree with this after ejecting colonial France from North Africa through guerrilla warfare. And Hezbollah would also disagree, after waging their successful 18-year guerrilla war against Israeli occupation forces. In this case, Mao is wrong - guerrilla warfare can stand alone as a style of warfare that can successfully defeat conventionally organized armies.
Mao's work has been given much credence because of his own success. Other movements have tried to copy his revolutionary design and have fallen flat, like El Slavador's FMLN, Peru's Shining Path, and Colombia's FARC. While Mao's tenet's are sound, he was successful largely due to the unique situation that was China. Mao's work should be taken for what it is, a treatise on how to conduct revolutionary warfare in mid-twentieth century China - not the bible of guerrilla warfare. However, any student of guerrilla warfare must have this work in their collection.
an oldie, but a goodie. Feb 23, 2009
This book is a "must read". To understand the basic premise of guerrilla/revolutionary warfare.(as practiced by the Chinese & others) To understand much of post WWII conflicts, Vietnam, and even Iraq. This work is a good distillation of Chinese military thought, and easier to understand than Sun Tzu, and/or the 36 Strategies of Ancient China. Start here and move on to those.
Worth reading Sep 17, 2008
I may be one of the few people that read this book that has no military experience , but even without that I couldn't put this book down. I just wish it was longer.