The Life-Changing Magic of Destroying Your Fellow Man: My Week With Steve Bannon and Sun Tzu

One of Steve Bannon’s favorite things to do, besides hate Jews, is to talk about how he’s read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, a sixth-century B.C. military treatise written by a Chinese general that comprises about 100 pages total, so really it’s not that impressive, Steve. Our takeaway from these boasts should not be “Steve Bannon, unlike our president, is literate,” but rather, “Steve Bannon has read one book” and “Steve Bannon’s one book is a savage disquisition on how to manipulate and totally fucking destroy everyone.”

I know this because I, too, have read The Art of War, in an attempt to briefly enter the demented minds of Steve Bannon and all of the chunky, jaundiced men before him who pore over this book in hopes of applying its bizarrely aggressive strategies to the corporate and political worlds. I read it with one goal in mind: to apply said strategies to my own life for a full week, essentially Freaky Friday–ing (and Mondaying and Tuesdaying) with Steve Bannon so that I might, on some level, begin to understand what it is like to be a repulsive, all-powerful man with zero moral compass and a melanoma-ridden finger hovering near the nuclear button.

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