Naval War College Review

Article Title

The Tao of Deception


John R. Arpin


Ralph D. Sawyer, noted scholar of Chi- nese strategic thought, has produced an enlightening study of the beginnings and the evolution of deception in Chinese political and military history. Contrary to some contemporary commentators, China has a long martial tradition. Warrior leaders and military heroes permeate both historic and contempo- rary Chinese literature, as well as mod- ern movies. Deception has long been an integral part of Chinese warfare. Draw- ing on the classic works of Chinese mil- itary thought, Sawyer demonstrates that deceptive practices and unorthodox ap- proaches are the norm rather than the exception.