Lessons in the Art of War compares the time-honoured theories of Sun Tzu with those of European military genius Carl von Clausewitz - and other Eastern and Western military greats - to give the reader a deeper understanding of martial culture, preparedness, and supremacy. The main difference between the writings of these military strategists is that Sun Tzu provided specific steps for every conceivable battlefield situation, while Clausewitz emphasized that various "frictions" such as uncertainty, ignorance, confusion, and fatigue often interfere with one's combat plan and prevent one from exercising full power and control over the enemy. However, their discourse displays far more similarities than differences, which further demonstrates that factors such as time period (Sun Tzu and Clausewitz were separated in time by more than two millennia), geographical location (Asia versus Europe), and cultural differences are less significant in combat than is the understanding of human nature.
Martina Sprague is the author of numerous books on the martial arts and military strategy, including The Complete Martial Arts Student, Strength and Power Training for Martial Arts and Norse Warfare. She holds a Masters in Military History from Norwich University and has over twenty years of experience in Asian and Western martial arts.