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The Art of War

Sunzi

Book Overview: 

The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise written during the 6th century BC by Sun Tzu. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it has long been praised as the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time. The Art of War is one of the oldest and most famous studies of strategy and has had a huge influence on both military planning and beyond. The Art of War has also been applied, with much success, to business and managerial strategies.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Sun Tzu, who was employed by Wu Tzu-hsu, there is no need to learn it oneself. Hence the remark added by Confucius: "If I fight, I conquer." The men of the present day, however, willfully interpret these words of Confucius in their narrowest sense, as though he meant that books on the art of war were not worth reading. With blind persistency, they adduce the example of Chao Kua, who pored over his father's books to no purpose, [67] as a proof that all military theory is useless. Again, seeing that books on war have to do with such things as opportunism in designing plans, and the conversion of spies, they hold that the art is immoral and unworthy of a sage. These people ignore the fact that the studies of our scholars and the civil administration of our officials also require steady application and practice before efficiency is reached. The ancients were particularly chary of allowing mere novices to botch their work. [68] W. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Simply put, Sun Tzu says that it is better not to fight than to be involved in a conflict, but if you are going to have to fight, then you have to do it to win, and these are the various strategies, often brutal, that will get you that result.

Niccolò Machiavelli, in The Prince says if you are in...more

Who reads the Art of War?

OK, sure everybody, or anybody can, but who actually does and why?

If we could somehow take a survey and create a pie chart of who reads this 2500 year old Chinese manual, what would we find, who reads it?

Military professionals, sure; executives, probably – wanna be execut...more

Finally finished the first book of this year! Yay! Took me a lot of time due to my exams and uni in general.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

I wanted to read The Art of War for very long and I finally managed to get to it.

And I liked it. I think everybody should...more

If anyone is looking for a war general I am available and well versed in war tactics due to this book. Hook me up.

یک فرمانده ی بزرگ نظامی، پانصد سال قبل از میلاد مسیح، کتابی اعجاب انگیز و ستودنی در مورد شیوه های فرماندهی لشکر می نویسد که تا سال های سال، در کشورهای شرق دور به عنوان دستور راه فرماندهان جنگ استفاده می شده. هم اکنون این کتاب در لیست کتاب های پیشنهادی ارتش امریکا برای دانشگاه های افسری و نظامی اس...more

Hey! Look at me stepping outside my comfort zone!

I saw this audiobook in the library, and I thought it looked interesting.
Hell, I've got 4 kids. This could come in handy.
Next year I'll have not one, but two teenage boys. I need to prepare myself to defend my babies home from the invading whores h...more

Evidently, it seems, for the last couple thousand years, EVERYONE has been using the same textbook on how to conduct a war. It also seems to be that nobody even knows for sure who wrote the book or when, but everyone uses it anyway. Included in this book are precious reminders that strategy helps...more

The wise warrior avoids the battle.

I can't think in a better quote to begin this review.

Sometimes, reading books about war tactics or novels of the genre of war, is confused with glorify wars, destruction, death and all sad things that are results of a war. But, at least, in my case (I can't sp...more

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