For every would-be leader, this acclaimed Taoist classic offers timeless insights for building a better world
The Taoist sages of ancient China have long been lauded for their transformative teachings on the art of harmonious living, community organization, and cultivating the common good. Along with Sun Tzu’s Art of War, the Huainanzi, here brought to life in English by preeminent translator Thomas Cleary, represents an essential window into this long and cherished tradition. Yet, whereas the Art of War focuses on cunning strategy to quickly resolve conflict, the Huainanzi speaks to the organization of healthy societies, the management of complex group dynamics, and how to promote the highest ideals of harmony, freedom, adaptability, and sustainability in our world. With incisive teachings on the challenges and opportunities of leadership at all levels—from small-scale organizational management to political statecraft—its time-tested wisdom lights the way for any endeavor in business, management, politics, government, and everyday life.
About the Author
Dr. Thomas Cleary (1949–2021), one of the most celebrated translators of spiritual classics into English, earned a PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He is the translator of over seventy volumes of Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, and Islamic texts from Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese, Pali, and Arabic.
"Are leaders born or made? If leadership skills can be imparted at all through words, this book, written some 2,000 years ago, offers some possibilities. And leave it to Thomas Cleary, who translates difficult works twice as fast as most of us read them, to bring us a crucial addition to classical tracts on war and leadership."—Japan Times
"This is wisdom for the new age. It's almost spooky how relevant are the words of these Taoist sages in this time of government excess and civil unrest. There are lessons here that our leaders and executives, and perhaps most importantly our children, could profit by."—Thom Calandra, financial columnist, San Francisco Examiner