In The Tao of Spycraft , for the first time anywhere Ralph Sawyer unfolds the long and venerable tradition of spycraft and intelligence work in traditional China, revealing a vast array of theoretical materials and astounding historical developments. Encompassing extensive translations of relevant portions of theoretical military manuals previously unkwn in the West (such as the T'ai-pai Yin-ching, Hu-ling Ching, and Ping-fa Pai-yen ), the book spans centuries to trace the development and expansion of agent concepts, insertion and control methods, recruitment, and covert practices such as assassination, subversion, and sexual entrapment and exploitation, going on to explore counter-intelligence and all aspects of military intelligence, including objectives, analysis and interpretation.But The Tao of Spycraft is more than an examination of military tactics, it also provides a thorough overview of the history of spies in China, emphasizing their early development, ruthless employment, and dramatic success in subverting famous generals, dooming states to extinction, and facilitating the rise of the first imperial dynasty kwn as the Ch'in. The cases discussed-particularly those exploiting women and sex-t only became part of China's general mindset over the ages, but coupled with the theoretical writings remain the basis for the study and teaching of contemporary spycraft methods and practices as the PRC trains and aggressively deploys thousands of agents throughout the world, including the United States.
Ralph D. Sawyer, one of America's leading scholars in Chinese warfare, has worked extensively with major intelligence and defence agencies. After studying at MIT and Harvard and a brief stint of university teaching, Sawyer has spent the past thirty years lecturing and doing international consulting work focused on China.