Most helpful positive review
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The Best of the Best
on July 16, 2004
This book is absolutely brilliant, and reading it is a tremendous experience. Sun Tzu is the master, and the Art of War, though aimed specifically on military warfare, is a masterpiece on general strategy and tactics that can be used in many sitautions. In fact, I will bet you that many of the most succesful sports coaches, boxers, businessmen, ploiticians, etc use tactics similar to those found in this book.
The Art of War is not a long book, but despite its size, it is totally packed with content. Some themes of the book include
- always ensuring you are prepared
- adapting and responding to circumstances
- knowing yourself, the enemy, and the environment
- being unpredictable, secretive, and deceptive
- making calculations
- exploiting opportunities
- avoiding your enemy's strengths, and attacking his weak spots
- causing disorder among your enemy
- using baits to manipulate others
- ensuring good teamwork through picking the right people to do the right job, good communication, and synergy
- knowing when to fight and when not to fight
The book is an absolute gem. It is invaluable and a must read. Sun Tzu has a beatiful style, and I really love the Lionel Giles translation, which although old, is still hihgly readable and among the best there is. I also recommend Rodney Ohebsion's tranlsation and selection and arrangement of passages, which is an adaptation of the Giles translation, and is in the book A Collection of Wisdom.
In summary, I would just like to say that The Art of War is definitely one of the greatest texts ever written, and is a must for the student of life.