The Art of War: Translation, Essays, and Commentary by the Denma Translation Group

The Art of War: Translation, Essays, and Commentary by the Denma Translation Group

3.6 513
by Sun Tzu
     
 

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Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to respond to conflict wisely, thoroughly, and victoriously is right before us at all times. The key to skillful action in any situation is in knowing those things that make up the environment and then seeing the patterns they form so that their

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Overview

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to respond to conflict wisely, thoroughly, and victoriously is right before us at all times. The key to skillful action in any situation is in knowing those things that make up the environment and then seeing the patterns they form so that their power becomes available to us. It is not necessary to change the nature of things to find victory. Since, as Sun Tzu teaches, aggression and response in kind can lead only to destruction, we must learn to work with conflict in a more profound and effective way. The Art of War shows us how.

The Art of War gives us proven strategic skills to apply when we need to take action and overcome obstacles in rapidly changing, chaotic situations. Though ancient in origin, these strategies are accessible because they are based on the ways we already do things. As Sun Tzu shows, rather than getting mired in conflict, we can create momentum and bring about the tipping point to achieve success.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780834821699
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
05/03/2011
Series:
Shambhala Publications
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,327,663
File size:
355 KB

Read an Excerpt

From
Part One: Sun Tzu's
The
Art of War

FORM

Sun
Tzu said:

Of old the skilled first made themselves invincible to await the enemy's vincibility.

Invincibility lies in oneself.

Vincibility lies in the enemy.

Thus the skilled can make themselves invincible.

They cannot cause the enemy's vincibility.

Thus it is said, "Victory can be known. It cannot be made."

Invincibility is defense.

Vincibility is attack.

Defend and one has a surplus.

Attack and one is insufficient.

Of old those skilled at defense hid below the nine earths and moved above the nine heavens.

Thus they could preserve themselves and be all-victorious.

In seeing victory, not going beyond what everyone knows is not skilled.

Victory in battle that all-under-heaven calls skilled is not skilled.

Thus lifting an autumn hair does not mean great strength.

Seeing the sun and the moon does not mean a clear eye.

Hearing thunder does not mean a keen ear.

So-called skill is to be victorious over the easily defeated.

Thus the battles of the skilled are without extraordinary victory, without reputation for wisdom and without merit for courage.

And so one's victories are without error.

Being without error, what one arranges is necessarily victorious

Since one is victorious over the defeated.

One skilled at battle takes a stand in the ground of no defeat.

And so does not lose the enemy's defeat.

Therefore,
the victorious military is first victorious and after that does battle.

The defeated military first does battle and after that seeks victory.

And so one who is skilled cultivates Tao and preserves method.

Thus one can be the measure of victory and defeat.

As for method—

First,
measure length.

Second,
measure volume.

Third,
count.

Fourth,
weigh.

The fifth is victory.

Earth gives birth to length.

Length gives birth to volume.

Volume gives birth to counting.

Counting gives birth to weighing.

Weighing gives birth to victory.

A
victorious military is like weighing a hundredweight against a grain.

A
defeated military is like weighing a grain against a hundredweight.

One who weighs victory sets the people to battle like releasing amassed water into a gorge one thousand

jen

deep.

This is form.

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Meet the Author

The Denma Translation Group is led by Kidder Smith and James Gimian. Smith directs the Asian Studies Department at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Gimian is publisher of the Shambhala Sun magazine and a publishing consultant. The other members of the group have worked professionally in the writing, editing, and publishing fields.

The warrior-philosopher and master strategist Sun Tzu, about whom little is known, compiled The Art of War more than two thousand years ago. Legend has it that he was known for the brilliant campaigns he led around the time of Confucius. His work was memorized and passed down orally, before eventually being copied onto bamboo strips and passed around.

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The Art of War 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 513 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book and many other classics are free from "Project Gutenburg" on various ebook formats.
rawhideron More than 1 year ago
This concise and compact version of Sun Tzu is printed entirely in a "bullet format" which makes it very readable and enhances the understanding of ancient principles of war that are applicable in everyday life. Mr. Giles has published two versions of Sun Tzu's writings into this single book. The first section is a purist version with no interjections and an additional bonus version that incorporates translations and viewpoints of ancient Chinese masters of war.
Knight-2000 More than 1 year ago
The first time that I ever heard of Sun Tzu was on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and to be honest I thought Sun Tzu was a fictional character. Turns out that its not, and the Art of War is a very real work. Its a very interesting read, and this book is used by the military, and even in the business world.
Fyrebird More than 1 year ago
The Art of War is an excellent book-when it's in a readable format. This is NOT the format to choose.
kittypaws More than 1 year ago
Very interesting historical text that can be extrapolated to fit many modern contemporary situations, however, I found it hard to read this particular version because the formatting was so poor. The footnotes made the text hard to read and often it was hard to tell where the footnote began and the text resumed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Preserves and present the original text nicely, but could do without the definitions that interupt the flow of the text.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This an excellent book that I have found myself applying its strategies, tactical dispositions, or whatever you want to call them in both my professional and personal lives. I think everyone should have a copy of this book in their briefcase and/or book bag.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew that the book wuld be realy good but I wasn't expecting it to be this good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Art of War is in many ways the Bible of warfare and strategy. And much like the Bible, a passage can have many different meaning depending on who's reading it. I've read through this translation a couple times now and the meanings are always changing, just as the events in our lives are always changing, giving each passage new life and understanding based on those personal experinces that are forever molding and shaping our conscienceness.
US-Military-Art-Guy More than 1 year ago
I was expecting a difficult read, but this was not the case. The annotations are very helpful and interesting, particularly in putting things into historical perspective. Very relevant to the actions in Afganhistan and Iraq today. Although this is mandatory reading for military academy graduates, you can see from current news stories how the deviation from the principles laid out in this work lead to defeat and unnessary loss of life. Perhaps it should be mandatory reading for our Commanders-in-Chief also! I highly recommend this to anyone interested in the military affairs of our country looking for an understanding of why the current wars proceed as they do. To our civilian leaders, this book says "Let the professionals fight the war! Follow their advice! Set policy, then keep your hands off!" Otherwise, don't get involved!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it is very useful. If the trojans had it they just might have won the war.
NelsonH More than 1 year ago
Chinese is a very ancient language and is quite context-sensitive. This makes good translations to English difficult and two different translations of the same work in Chinese may come very different in English. The Denma Group has done an excellent translation of this ancient Chinese work making it quite understandable and east to read in English. Sun Tzu may have been one of the earliest professional soldiers to actually think about their trade and has come up with some valuable insights about conflict and war in general. Most people who are interested in this work will benefit greatly from having a copy of this translation in their library. A number of essays are included showing how the Denma Group has come to this particular translation and, also the huge amount of effort they have put into it. I own four different translations of the Art of War and this is the one that I carry on my e-reader.
Joel_M More than 1 year ago
A lot of people read The Art of War to gain insight into business competition, inter-personal conflict, etc. Personally, I think it is most interesting as an actual treatise on warfare, statecraft, and tactics as originally intended. Comparing the tactics and outcome of various battles and wars (past and present) to Sun Tzu's advice demonstrates that he generally knew what he was talking about and many (most?) of his principles still hold true. This translation made a serious effort to preserve the ambiguities present in the original, giving it a much more Eastern flavor than some older translations. I can't vouch for translation accuracy since I can't read the original, but Cleary at least sounds a bit more authentic than Giles (the "classic" English translation). The commentary sections sometimes gave insight into how "Master Sun" was understood by others over the next few centuries, but sometimes it was just a tedious unimaginative rephrasing of the original. On your first reading of The Art of War skip the commentary; it breaks up the flow of thought. (Also, don't bother with the 60 page intro unless you really want to hear the translator pontificate about Taoism for 50 pages while saying nothing that you can't pick up from the book itself) If you are interested in diplomacy, espionage, military tactics, etc. this is definitely a great read. Next time you watch a war movie or play a conquer-the-world type game you'll find yourself thinking in terms of The Art of War.
Colin Bennett More than 1 year ago
Spent half the time skipping over information and interpretations i didnt want to read. wouldve been better if it was just sun tzu's writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to read all the babble and very little of the actual text- this is your book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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manircu33 More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sum Tzu said: I'M F***KING CHINESE, NOT JAP! YOU IDIOTS Thank you for sharing my wisdom...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stinks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago