Sun Tzu at Gettysburg

  • by Bevin Alexander
  • Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
  • 8 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ten major battles or campaigns that could have been won by using the principles of The Art of War.
Imagine the impact on world history if Robert E. Lee had listened to General Longstreet at Gettysburg and withdrawn to higher ground instead of sending Pickett uphill against the entrenched Union line. Or if Napolon, at Waterloo, had avoided mistakes he'd never made before. The advice that would have changed the outcome of these crucial battles is found in a book on strategy written centuries before Christ was born.
Lee, Napoleon, and Adolf Hitler never read Sun Tzu's The Art of War; the book only became widely available in the West in the mid-20th century. But as Bevin Alexander shows, Sun Tzu's maxims often boil down to common sense, in a particularly pure and clear form. The lessons of contemporary military practice, or their own experience, might have guided these commanders to success. It is stunning to see, however, the degree to which the precepts laid down 2,400 years ago apply to warfare of the modern era.

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Customer Reviews

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A little too superficial

As a backdrop to this review I have read/listened to a number of books associated with each of the battles/wars described in this book bar the Korean War. Also I have read "The Art of War".

Given the above I was very much looking forward to listening to this book and gleaning some insights as to "what might have been". However, I felt disappointed as it is just too superficial and simplistic.

The book does not fully explore the reaction(s) to changes that could have been adopted by following the teachings of Sun Tzu. Battles can be like a game of chess, where once your opponent makes a move you need to consider and react to this whilst developing your own strategy to win. This kind of analysis is not sufficiently included for me. Instead it looks at some specific decisions, critiques it, uses the Sun Tzu philosophy, and describes what should have happened. As if that is the end of the story.


For every action there is a reaction.
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- Matchu

Book Details

  • Release Date: 31-05-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios