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The Six Secret Teachings of Jiang Ziya

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June 3, 2021 @ 12:00 am

The Six Secret Teachings of Jiang Ziya (Ta’i Kung) is the oldest of China’s Seven Military Classics. This foundational work from the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BCE) period purports to have originated more than five centuries before Sun Tzu (544-496 BCE). The six teachings are a record of conversations between Jiang and the future Zhou Kings Wen and Wu on defeating the Shang Dynasty. This book on civil-military relations, organizing, manning, and fighting forces, is attributed to Jiang Ziya, who is purported to be China’s first general officer and strategist. This presentation explores the key themes and military advice offered in the six books, with comparisons to Sun Tzu and suggestions on how this work might influence a modern Chinese Way of War.

Dr. Geoff Babb was commissioned from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1973 as a US Army Military Intelligence Officer. After serving in the Defense Intelligence Agency as a ground forces analyst, he was assigned to Monterey, California, Hong Kong, and Beijing for language and area studies. He was then assigned to Joint and Army Headquarters in Hawaii. In 1991, he joined the Command and General Staff College faculty at Fort Leavenworth. After retiring from the military, he earned a Masters in East Asian Languages and Cultures, and a Doctorate in History from the University of Kansas. He has published numerous book chapters and articles on China and Asia. He currently serves as a professor in the Department of Military History as its China hand.

Submit your questions for Dr. Babb to dolequestions@ku.edu for the question-and-answer portion of the program.

This special program will be live-streamed to the institute’s YouTube channel and to its website, www.doleinstitute.org. Due to continuing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic, the program will only be available online. Follow the Dole Institute on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for updates regarding this and future programming.


June 3, 2021
12:00 am
Event Category:

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