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The Art of War (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)

The Art of War (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)

4.4 7
by Sun Tzu, Lionel Giles, Jan Willem Honig, Ilmari Käihkö

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“The art of war is of vital importance to the State,” writes General Sun Tzu at the outset of one of the most important military treatises ever written. Furthermore, he writes, war can lead to safety or ruin and must not be engaged in lightly—it is a matter of life and death. What follows is a terse, sober analysis of the successful planning and


“The art of war is of vital importance to the State,” writes General Sun Tzu at the outset of one of the most important military treatises ever written. Furthermore, he writes, war can lead to safety or ruin and must not be engaged in lightly—it is a matter of life and death. What follows is a terse, sober analysis of the successful planning and conduct of war, which is as pertinent in the twenty-first century as it was in China 2,500 years ago.

Within these pages, Sun Tzu explores:

• The five fundamental facets of war and the seven elements that determine outcomes

• War economy and limiting the cost of conflict

• The importance of unity, discipline, alliances, and cities

• Strategic defense and the recognition of offensive opportunities

• Flexibility in responding to changing circumstances

• Fighting wars without having to do battle

• The five sources of intelligence and how to use them

As notable for its insights into motivating people and knowing one’s opponent as for its emphasis on preparedness, flexibility, and understanding the environment, The Art of War has become an important resource for modern business people, trial lawyers, and sports teams—as well as for military leaders.

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Barnes & Noble
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Barnes & Noble Signature Editions
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Meet the Author

Sun Tzu, born Sun Wu and also sometimes known as Sunzi, was an ancient Chinese general traditionally believed to have lived during the late sixth and early fifth centuries bce, although internal evidence from the text of The Art of War gives weight to a likely composition date several centuries later.

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The Art of War 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to say, this is the best interpretation of Sun Tzu¿s classic work I have read. The author focuses on the meanings behind this ancient Chinese war philosopher¿s writings. He puts them into a modern context, making them easy to understand. Sun Tzu's treatise on The Art of War is really a treatise on competitive advantage that applies not only to actual war but such things as getting a job, marketing, and any other competitive situation that you might come across. A deep understanding of competitive advantage, it is still the definitive text for understanding the concepts of how to come out on top in such situations. An easy book to read and understand on a basic level, it can take a lifetime to truly appreciate in on all levels and apply it to the various areas of your life. This translation still seems to be one of the best that I have seen. It is internally consistent between the translated concepts and so shows a level of knowledge and detail that is not present in some other translations. As a translator the author obviously sees the big picture. The Art of War contains both the complete translated text of Sun Tzu's enduring classic on battle strategy, and a modern-day interpretation packed with advice on leadership, learning to keep one's intentions a secret from one's opponents, leveraging advantages as the key to victory, and a great deal more. An excellent resource for anyone seeking self-improvement through internalizing Sun Tzu's wisdom, the Art of War is thoughtful and thought-provoking reading of the highest order. I don¿t think 'The Art of War' was meant to be a moral guide in the strict sense that we attribute to morality in Western civilization, in this particular era. In my opinion, Sun Tzu summarized all his personal experience on tactics and strategy (and perhaps other people's experience, too) in order to write a concise, logical and solid military manual. Military history is one of my biggest personal interests, and I've seen that it is possible to adapt Sun Tzu's ideas to most historical battlefields and eras. Not only does 'The Art of War' deal with maneuvers and tactics in the battlefield, it addresses everything a commander should take into account prior to engaging battle: logistics, intelligence, terrain, morale and last, but not least, the psychological understanding of the opponent. As I mentioned above, 'The Art of War' cannot be seen as guidance for the ethics and morality of our acts, nonetheless, it is a valuable instrument when it comes down to overcome daily life difficulties, it helps focus problems in such a way they can be solved systematically. And when it comes to use such knowledge against individuals, personal foes, it's important to keep on mind that it's best to beat an enemy without actually fighting overkill is not the best outcome most of the times.
Fish_Sticks More than 1 year ago
The Art of War is a book that goes over the proper rules and etiquette of war that generals and their armies should follow; there are thirteen chapters that go over different, yet specific, stratagem for each chapter. After the first thirteen chapters, you are given a history of Sun Tzu and how he came up with his theory and put it to action; this is then followed by all of the chapters revisited, but now with commentary from Lionel Giles, who analyzes each chapter in detail. The reoccurring themes mentioned throughout all of the chapters seem to revolve around having a balance between being overly demanding and extremely passive with those you are working with; thinking before acting; and keeping your humanity in all situations. The style in which this book is written is unique; it is written in the form of bullet points and lists; the history and commentary is written in a standard novel format. Some people may be deterred from reading this, due to the fact that the majority of the book is not necessarily a story, but rather a list of what and what not to do in times of war; despite this, I was fond of this book. It gave an insightful look into the common ideals and the history during the 500 B.C.E. Zhou dynasty through the thoughts/jots of Sun Tzu. I feel that this would be a useful and enlightening book for anyone who doesn’t mind reading lists about historical wartime etiquette; although all of the ideals mentioned in The Art of War are based, obviously, around war, the general ideas can be logically applied to current day situations, and if that makes you curious, then I suggest that you check this fantastic book out.
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AlexeyB More than 1 year ago
Amazing, that after so much time, this book can still be applied in today's world. Highly recommended for those that would like to enrich their worldview.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow u do know this guy who made this book child (30,000,000x) is proably any one and his iq showed thet hes reatartet