Customer Reviews for

The Art of War

Average Rating 4.5
( 17 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2004

    Very nice to have around

    This book was written about 2,500 years ago in China when a man was told to write a report on war and its bases in combat. The Art of War is a scientific look at how war should be conducted and carried out. It goes into what to do and not to do while at war. Through the book Sun Tzu lays down the basics of assessing a battle, formations, siege planning, and when to go to battle or avoid battle. In the book he makes a metaphor by saying, ¿I am known for curing death and curing great sickness, and I¿m known by many, but there is another man in the village that no one has heard of because he stops death from ever getting near and stops sickness before it becomes great, and for this he is a great healer.¿ This means that it is a greater victory to disarm an opponent long before it ever comes to the highest conflict and to disrupt his allies so he has no one to turn to. This is the strongest point of the book although it goes into more detail of the use of fire and the jobs of spies and other elements of war. Sun Tzu¿s translator, Thomas Cleary, conveys the fine points well and makes the reading easy. He does this by having the actual translation in the text then after it made an understanding into today¿s modern look at things. This helps a lot when the majority of the original text is metaphors and then gives an explanation of the text. There are times when the original text seems to go much longer then the explanation, which leaves readers to figure it out for themselves. This is not always a bad thing in letting the readers to interpret the text for themselves. The book itself is made to just hit the main points of the text and is short, good for looking to and being a guide for decision making.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2002


    Of this has to be the oldest book on management. When it was mentioned in 'Wallstreet' people finally got it that this is a management book. Bit extreme maybe... A good edition of the classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2001

    Broadening your perspective

    War is not really based on honor... or glory, or even whose right. It's all about conditions, who has the advantage and how to dishearten your opponents while making sure your own resources are protected. It tells you what to look for through hundreds of various quotes and snippets of advice. This book was not entirely by Sun Tzu, but a collection of famous tacticians through-out history. Each seem to add another element to the concept of how to win in conflict. In life, you can see a little of this in each day... but just remember not too get too carried away. After all, even Sun Tzu himself said 'A battle not fought, is a battle won.' For broadening your perspective, I'd suggest adding this book to your collection as well as 'Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A Little Book of Eastern Wisdom' by Taro Gold.

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