The Tao of Spycraft: Intelligence Theory and Practice in Traditional China


A notable aspect of Sun Tzu's Art of War is its unabashed recommendation for the use of spies. Later Confucian moralists & early Western readers of Sun Tzu expressed, hypocritically, shock & disdain for this open acknowledgment of the benefits of espionage in war & politics. However, it is not just Sun Tzu's work but all of the ancient Chinese military classics that emphasize the role of spies & even praise the moral use of agents in certain situations, such as in avoiding war. In The Tao of Spycraft, Ralph Sawyer unfolds the long & venerable tradition of spycraft in ancient & imperial China.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boulder, CO
Publication year:
  • 1998


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