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ART MILITAIRE DES CHINOIS, OU RECUEIL D'ANCIENS - Tzu, Sun - 1772. 
DIDOT LAINÃ‰, Paris 1772 - The first edition in any Western language(French) - virtually unknown in the West until this edition reached European readers. An English translation wouldnt be seen for another 138 years. Translated by Jean Joseph Marie Amiot (1718-1793) a Jesuit missionary to Beijing and close confidant/translator to the Chinese Emperor Hongli(1711-1799). Critically important to the course of world civilization, its reverberations are still felt today.***** The spirit of book collecting lives in the noble desire to grasp written works that influenced humanity and thereby the course of history. This work has the merit of direct and tangibly consequential impact. With many book descriptions touting the gravitas of this and that, its hard to filter through the hype. To be fair, there is generally some kernel of justifiable hype to them; many have resulted in deep intellectual and/or emotional awakenings that altered peoples behavior. However, this book directly affected the lives and deaths of millions of our forbears. How so?***** Conflict has steered the course of human history in brutal and consequential ways shaping whole regions and swaths of people. See whats happening in the Middle East right now and the cascading effect its having throughout the entire world as just one easy, present example. Many of historys impactful military leaders - Napoleon, Mao Zedong, Pervez Musharraf, Ho Chi Minh, Colin Powell, and countless more - had their philosophies and/or field tactics informed by the knowledge in this book. You can draw pretty straight lines from their decisions and actions to our current world paradigm. On a less bloody note, Tzu has also influenced the world of business, sports, and academia.***** Religion is generally seen as having been the most influential non-biological driver of human events. The second tier of influence, if you will, belongs to science and philosophy Isaac Newton, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx just to name a few whose works truly resulted in tangible actions by those they reached. Tzus Art of War firmly belongs in this pantheon.***** This book checks all the boxes of collecting historical weightiness, rarity, and aesthetic beauty. A complete copy with half-title and all 33 hand-colored engraved plates in a contemporary marbled sheep binding, with an attractively tooled spine and marbled endpapers/edges. Aside from minor rubbing to the binding, its a gratifyingly nice copy and the only one currently for sale - rare in such nice shape as the dozen or so copies housed behind institutional walls exist in various conditions. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Anniroc Rare Books]
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