Customer Reviews for

The Art of War

Average Rating 4
( 342 )
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(164)

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(17)

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(25)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

An excellent masterpiece!

This is not merely a military or tactical manual - this is a book of pure wisdom. Sun Tzu was way ahead of his time in creating such an extraordinary guide to strategy and leadership, both in and out of combat. Read this book once, then read it again the advice and aph...
This is not merely a military or tactical manual - this is a book of pure wisdom. Sun Tzu was way ahead of his time in creating such an extraordinary guide to strategy and leadership, both in and out of combat. Read this book once, then read it again the advice and aphorisms that flow from it are infinite each time.

posted by Anonymous on June 13, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

so Why so low a rating?

This is an amazing book, but I don't want people to be deceived, it's dry. The driest martini in the world type of dry, the Sahara looks like a rain forest dry. It is meant to be educational and it is useful for creating your own philosophies and maybe a little bit us...
This is an amazing book, but I don't want people to be deceived, it's dry. The driest martini in the world type of dry, the Sahara looks like a rain forest dry. It is meant to be educational and it is useful for creating your own philosophies and maybe a little bit useful in warfare (still great if you want to wage an ancient war). But not every reader that loves reading will understand why this is great. it is not an escape.

posted by The_wonderous_Mutt on March 10, 2010

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  • Posted June 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Profound Advice

    The Art of War by Sun Tzu is an ancient Chi­nese mil­i­tary trea­tise. The book, a clas­sic within the sci­ence of mil­i­tary stud­ies is only attrib­uted to the high rank­ing gen­eral and was believed to have been com­plies dur­ing the last spring and autumn of the War­ring States period(either 476 BC or 453 BC).

    I first heard of The Art of War by Sun Tzu when I was in the mil­i­tary. I heard of the book in pass­ing and read a bit more about it when I got home, but never picked up a copy until sev­eral years later.

    The first thing which struck me was how short the book was, but the more I read, the more I real­ized the wis­dom behind the book. The sec­ond, third, forth and more I read this book I stopped for con­tem­pla­tion about what Sun Tzu's words mean to me, how I imple­mented his advice both in the mil­i­tary and out­side of it and the mis­takes I made, how can I learn from them and if I will repreat them again.

    But The Art of War is more than just about war. The book is about every strug­gle or con­fronta­tion, whether exter­nal or inter­nal. I can cer­tainly see how the advice applies to ancient war­fare, but when ana­lyzed, the book can apply to pol­i­tics, busi­ness and more.

    Sun Tzu under­stood, as any great leader/manager that the lead­ers set the tone and spends much of the book dis­cussing those qual­i­ties. This is true in any orga­ni­za­tion, the sergeants will treat the sol­diers the way the pla­toon leader treats them, who treat the sergeants the way the cap­tains treat them, etc. Mid­dle man­age­ment will treat their employ­ees the way upper man­age­ment treats them - so sim­ple, yet so profound.

    How­ever, the part that really struck home, for me, was when Sun Tzu speaks about know­ing your­self and your enemy.

    "So it is said that if you know oth­ers and know your­self, you will not be imper­iled in a hun­dred bat­tles; if you do not know oth­ers but know your­self, you win one and lose one; if you do not know oth­ers and do not know your­self, you will be imper­iled in every sin­gle battle."

    Pro­found advice from a great gen­eral - one does not go into any com­pe­ti­tion with­out know­ing the oppo­nents. Ath­letes do not step onto the field with­out spend­ing house ana­lyz­ing every avail­able movie show­ing their oppo­nents at play and gen­er­als dis­sect enemy strate­gies to tiny details before form­ing their own.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    The Art of War has in recent decades been applied to such modern

    The Art of War has in recent decades been applied to such modern day problems as politics and business - really anything where conflict can surface. It was also suggested reading during my entire time in business school. So, I finally pulled the trigger and read the "original" (or at least the most well-regarded translation) The Art of War. The most impressive thing to me (which is explained in the introductory material) is how well the Chinese recorded their history. My only complaint about the introductory materials was that most great Chinese historical figures have multiple names - this makes it hard to track who is who in some of the commentaries. The actual strategies themselves are full of guidelines on determining your opponent's weaknesses, exploiting them and achieving victory. Not exactly full of moral or ethical advice, so I can't use much of it. I'm glad that I read it as it gave me a great look into Chinese history...but its practical use in my world is limited.

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  • Posted April 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting, not entertaining.

    Its dry, and most of the advice posed is common sense. Never the less, provides a good philosophical perspective to not just war, but the topic of conflict overall. Provides some practical counsel that can be applied to daily life.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Interesting

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted March 17, 2011

    One of the greatest books in history.

    Not everyone will understand the importance of this book. If the reader digs deeper than the actual text, they'll soon realize that this book can be applied to building a sucessful company or sucess in general. Life is war, especially from the business aspect. The main principles in this book can also help avoid disasters in the shrewd world of business where sucess is war. This book is often used in Civics and Free Enterprise classes to teach these very principles.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    it makes sense!

    even though it is difficult to understand, when you do understand it the book makes sense..

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant & Easy-read!

    This book is great especially since it is small and compact. The book is formatted by bullets which contain important quotes and sayings by sun tzu. The book is around 100 pages which are simple to read even though sun tzu quotes in confusing metaphors in rare chapters. The metaphorical references are brilliant and most of them are based off of nature. He lists important things to do and not to do; what makes a skillful general and what makes him weak.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    speechless...

    definitely requires additional investigation/reserach to complete the inderstanding. i'm certain there are some seminars available to complete that understanding.

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  • Posted January 28, 2010

    The Greatest Tactical Book in History

    TT This book is perhaps the greatest book ever made for a number of reasons. It is very detailed, very accurate, applicable to many fields, and it is, for the most part, easy to understand. Any student, business leader, general, gamer, sports player, or someone in a field where tactics is the key must buy this book. The most shocking thing is that this book is the oldest of its kind. Among its many applications, it's most useful role is to act as a guide to warfare like it did 2000+ years ago.
    TT The identity of the true author is still in hot debate, but most believe the author is Sun Tzu. When the Art of War was first printed, war was never the same. Now a standard guide in the world of guerilla warfare, this book is the general's driving manual: follow the books directions, and pave your way to victory; ignore the guidelines, and your army faces conquest or annihilation. The topics covered are: Estimates, Waging War, Offensive Strategy, Dispositions, Energy, Weaknesses and Strengths, Manouvre, The Nine Variables, Marches, Terrain, The Nine Varieties of Ground, Attack by Fire, and Employment of Secret Agents. The book has a nice introduction and serves its purpose well beyond expectations.
    TT Overall this book is perfect for generals, excellent for sports such as football, good for businesses, and great as a gift for anyone who archives books for intellectual purposes. The quality of the translation is phenomenal; the references were very useful for finding more information on Sun Tzu, the amount of information given is huge for a small book. Honestly, I thought it would be bigger, but after I read this, I learned that it didn't need to be bigger. For 81 pages of tactics, the details are very impressive and extremely reliable. The background history and the heated debates found at the beginning of the book is the icing on the cake. Whether your in business or on the front lines, The Art of War is a must have and is probably the third most important book ever written.

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  • Posted September 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sun Tzu Art of War Perfect Business Marketing Strategy Book

    Although Sun Tzu Art of War is old, very old, it is still one of the most relevant business strategy books of the 21st century. Using the book to its full advantage advertising guerrilla exposure tactics offer powerful results derived from aggressive markets, exploring its wisdom and creative genius, it is simply unquestionable. Napoleon is said to have kept a copy close to him and many strategic business managers decisions are still made on the basic principles of success in an aggressive market set out in The art of war, a brilliant read and a book you can pick up and enjoy time and again.

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  • Posted August 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Military Philosophy

    The Art of War is still relevant in our modern-day era of warfare. It should be required reading for military officers. Much of it seems like commonsense, but it provides a nice algorithm to follow in most situations. Besides, military officers are often lacking in commonsense, which is why they should read The Art of War and listen to their noncommissioned officers.

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thought provoking

    A fluid translation with a lot of historical background information.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I am intrigued.

    This book contains concepts first discussed by 5th century warlord. The ironic thing is even in this day and age, those concepts are still applicable. This is a great book for any trying to get ahead in life and business. I enjoy opening it at random to see what wisdom I would hear that day.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a book written as it should be.

    First off, my hat goes off to this amazing compilation of knowledge written by Sun Tzu. This man was a tactical genius, and it is reflected in the commentaries and notes in the second part of the book. This book has given me the edge in warfare, whether by playing games like "Risk!" ar any other means. This book is a must-add to anyone's personal library. I absolutelt enjoyed this piece of historic literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2008

    Another good translation.

    I enjoyed the side-bar illustrations included. Cory Countryman

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS ON STRATEGY

    The Art of War by Sun Tzu is one of the most important book written on military strategy. It has been the guideline for leaders throughout the centuries. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK...THEN.....YOU HAVE MADE ONE OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF YOUR LIFE.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2001

    How to run a war or Business

    Sun Tzu 'The Art of War' was excellent. This book is a great book on strategy. Whether you command a nations army, war games or a moderen business. If the reader uses some of these war tactics and strategies in the modern world, they may find it easy to relate. Thus it is easy to relate to this book. Even rivals in sports and entertainment can be outwitted by the wisdom in this book. It also adds examples of some actions, which show how these sayings and writings apply to the real world. So no matter what you were looking for in this book, whether it be business, sports, war games, or actual wars, you can be sure to learn more on how to best deal with the situation through the strategies in this book. The book is timeless....and should be required reading for all persons.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2001

    Great historical background to time period and to sun tzu.

    Ralph H. Sawyer's translation of sun tzu's 'Art of War' provides the reader with a vast amount of valuable information pertaining to ancient Chinese military and political history and tactics. The book also contains a useful foot note and bibliography section.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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