The Thirty-Six Stratagems by Peter Taylor


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the thirty six stratagems


The 36 Stratagems is a Chinese essay used to illustrate a series of stratagems used in politics and in war, as well as in civilian life, often through unorthodox means. Approximately 300 years ago an unknown scholar compiled the stratagems, a strangely seductive meditation on deception. The stratagems are ordered in categories according to your current position. ‘Advantageous Stratagems’, ‘Opportunistic Stratagems’ and ‘Attacking Stratagems’ are used when you are in a winning situation. ‘Confusion Stratagems’, ‘Deception Stratagems’ and ‘Desperate Stratagems’ are used when you are in a disadvantageous or losing situation. These strategems can be combined in various ways as they are not intended to be used alone, nor are they only applicable in purely a winning or purely a losing situation. So how can the three hundred year old ideas of an unknown Chinese scholar provide help with the strategic challenges we face today? In this brilliant interpretation, this ancient text is transformed into a practical guide for the 21st century business executive or politician. By interpreting the lessons of The 36 Stratagems this handy, authentic, realistic approach shows how we can defeat the opponents we face in our business and personal lives. But beware: there is no ‘win win’ scenario in The 36 Stratagems. Winner takes all!