Compiled during the Warring States period of 475-221 B.C., The Art of War is the first known attempt to formulate a rational basis for the planning and conduct of military operations. Named the #1 translation of The Art of War by Sonshi.com, this edition breaks new ground in resolving the textual and contextual problems of the text, along with complex issues of authorship.
Victor H. Mair asserts that Sun Wu, a supposed strategist of the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 B.C.) to whom The Art of War is traditionally attributed, never existed. Instead, Mair claims the text coalesced over a period of years, from the middle of the fourth century to the first quarter of the third century B.C. Mair also reveals how The Art of War reflects historical developments in technological and military strategy in civilizations throughout Eurasia. He demonstrates the close link between philosophy in The Art of War and Taoism and discusses the reception of the text from the classical period to today. Finally, Mair highlights previously unaddressed stylistic and statistical aspects and includes philological annotations that present new ways of approaching the intellectual and social background of the work.