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Sun Tzu Was a Sissy

By Stanley Bing

    Who would think that someone would not only call the great Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu a "sissy," but would go as far as writing a book to document his viewpoint? Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War over twenty-five hundred years ago, and it has been a foundational reference for military leadership schools and MBA programs for generations. Sun Tzu's premise is that those who fight best are those who are well prepared and can craft an approach that avoids the fight. Stanley Bing says that Sun Tzu's philosophical approaches to fight avoidance do not apply to the current business environment. In today's corporate environments, Bing believes that it is those that fight who will win. Those who read the book and agree with Bing's beliefs will be taught to not only look out for themselves, but how to plan and execute battles that hurt other people and advance their positions and maybe those of their friends.

   Sun Tzu was a Sissy is a humorous, blunt, thought provoking but highly controversial read. Stanley Bing is a pseudonym created by the author in order permit him to literally "bite the hand that feeds him" by writing extremely critical works about the corporate environment while receiving an executive's paycheck from those he attacks. Bing is also the author of the national bestsellers Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up, What Would Machiavelli Do?, The Ends Justify the Meanness, and of the novels Lloyd: What Happened and You Look Nice Today. I highly recommend this book to those working in corporate settings or the military who have been indoctrinated in the writings of Sun Tzu, and to those who like to "stir things up."


The Book

HarperBusiness / HarperCollins
October 1, 2004
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The Reviewer

Robin Thomas
Reviewed 2005
© 2005