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on May 22, 2013
The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Written in the 6th century B.C., The Art of War remains the ultimate guide to combat strategy. Sun Tzu explains when and how to engage opponents in order to prevail in difficult situations. Instead of describing the logistics of warfare, he shows the reader how to succeed by motivating soldiers and leveraging tactical advantages. In short, he explains how to win the battle of wits. Though it was written for the battlefield, The Art of War contains valuable advice for other endeavors as well. Tzu's work has been lauded by sports coaches, business executives, and other leaders of the 21st century. This edition contains the translation of Lionel Giles, widely considered the most faithful and authoritative translation.
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on January 22, 2014
The Chinese have lived by these lessons for centuries and they still are using them to create a dynasty for the future. Don't believe it? Look what's going on in the financial world today. The Chinese are preparing and the rest of the world is destroying their currency and losing all jobs that actually produce goods to the Chinese. This is a book about strategy more than it is about war. It's how to use your brains not your brawn. Really read the title. War is an art form.
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on December 27, 2003
As an exposition on Chinese General Sun Tzu's ideas of fighting, "The Art of War" is an excellent source to use to look upon the spirit of ancient Chinese war. Written as truly a guide for sucessful battle campaigns, it is functionally just that. It provides a glimpse at how Chinese generals (yes plural - thanks to commentary that is given) viewed fighting and winning battles. In many ways, it provides a philosophical view of how full frontal assaults and pride can lead to the fall of conquests. However, this work is often misused as an application for businesses by capitalists who think that they too should treat the market as a war-zone. In this case, they reduce Tzu's warfare (which would be used to defend the good) to something that harms innocent workers for self-aggrandizement.
If not read from a greedy capitalist standpoint, "The Art of War" provides an excellent source of enlightenment about war tactics of ancient China (that are in many ways applicable today). However, to use Tzu's work as a guide on how to work (and hence, live) is a terrible reason for reading "The Art of War".
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on September 19, 2014
Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" is a great book.
This ancient classic was written over 2,500 years ago by the legendary Chinese general Sun Tzu, being a
a timeless masterpiece of interaction of power and politics this book teaches many good lessons to anyone who will ever have to command a group of people, in the workplace, in school, or on the battlefield.
The Art of War is an ageless book that teaches human nature and how to deal with difficult situations in life and business.
The lessons learned in this book can be allied to relationship, friendship, career and make you a more complete person in general. I I recommend this book to be read by all those who wants to succeed in anything they do, It is not just about lessons in war but can be used and applied for everyday life.
"The Art of War" is a must read.
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on January 27, 2003
This is the best translation of Sun Tzu's work on the market. Sawyer is a deft scholar with the ability to approach the meaning most carefully in his text. Moreover the lenghty introduction to the text (three-quarters of the book) gives one a good description of the evolution of warfare in the the major dynasties of Classical China. Descriptions of everything from the development of the sword, chariot, and military organisation is included, all aspects of the the major military engagements described.
The text should therefore appeal to both those who wish to get a general outline of Chinese military history and the context that Sun Tzu (and other writers described in the book) defines his concepts of strategy.
This is a serious scholarship and there is numerous references to non-translated Chinese and Japanese first sources on the subject. Sawyer knows his stuff! There is also a full index with Chinese character translations of key concepts, events, people and places (since as any reader of Chinese script knows, there is no way the phonetic romanised spelling can convey adequate meaning). It is always good to have reference to the Chinese characters. .....
This is the translation for those who hope to take a whack at Chinese classical scholarship and military history.
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on October 11, 1999
I cannot remember who introduced me to "The Art of War", but I know I could not hold onto the book for very long. Each friend I thought would benefit from the ancient words of Sun Tzu received a copy from me. I went through seven copies before buying the hard cover for my collection.
I found James Clavell's version quite difficult to find, but well worth it - due to clarity of reading and balance.
I tried reading Cleary's version, but could not get through the first chapter. However, I did purchase "Mastering the Art of War" by Cleary; finding it a better tour guide.
Clavell's "Art of War" offers tactical insight on overcoming an opponent whether it be war, work, relationships, or your own personal demons.
Sun Tzu created a timeless piece of history written for the future. I personally feel that today's society needs to look back, master the art of war, in order to repair the future.
Today I'm buying book #9 for a person who inspired me... I wanted to return the favor.
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on September 15, 2003
I have long owned a small paperback version of The Art of War. It's nice, but lacking in supporting information. This edition fills a chasmic void left by other editions. It has a tremendous amount of in-depth contextual information, footnotes, and other supporting material.
As for Sun Tzu's text, it's very worth studying. It's short and couched in somewhat philosophical languague, which hinders its usefulness on the subject of warfare. However, when comparing the principles it lays out with other texts, such as Maurice's Strategikon (written 600 A.D.), it is very enlightening.
By itself, I believe the Art of War's popularity outstrips its actual greatness, but this edition's supplimentary information makes it stand out above academically leaner versions.
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on April 15, 2002
There are two critical things to consider when deciding to purchase a book such as the Art of War: the first being the content / author of the book and the second being the translator. This book deserves 5 stars for both. Sun Tzu's Art of War is the de facto standard on military strategy, and Sawyers translation and reference material take the work to new heights. Sawyer has a strong grasp of the material -- and discusses (through the introduction and footnotes) the times and military methods that brought about this brilliant work. The book has a number of minor typographical errors (such as lines of text that appear as the last line of one page, and the first line of the next) but overall these errors are minor annoyances at worst.
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on April 23, 2003
A friend of mine works for the city of Los Angeles. He told me about all kinds of problems he's had in the past dealing with co-workers over and under him. And then he told me about what helped him to deal with people in a work environment more than anything else: The Art of War. When I got a copy of this book, I was shocked and amazed to see how small the actual book is. But that's not all that shocked me.
This book is the essential and definitive published work on tactics. Every chapter is short, concise, and brilliant. Instead of bothering to tell you about every kind of battle that could possibly take place, the master who wrote this book tells you about every tactical position you might have to deal with in a war, and the best thing to do while in that position. Much of this counsel is simple, even obvious. But that doesn't change the fact that when tensions run high we all need reminders.
The tactics taught to you in this book are amazing. Huge amounts of writing have been devoted to expaining and utilizting the counsel in this book, and what you learn from it will benefit you in all kinds of situations. In business, in games, and in life in general. This book is ESSENTIAL reading. Secure a copy before your enemies do.
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on December 3, 2001
The true object of all war is peace & its requires supreme excellence of knowledge to dismantle enemies resistance without fighting, wiz-a-wig all kinds of intelligence, discipline, deviations - multi-dimensional factors dictate the matter of life, death and the road to , says Shiladitya 'Sunny' Ghosh in a book review of "The Art of War" edited and fore worded by James Clavell.
Very little seems to have changed since last 2,500 years when Sun Tzu, the great Chinese Philosopher wrote "The Art of War" with respect to philosophies of fighting wars. They are still driven by the law of Moral, Commander, Earth, Heaven and Methods of the Majesties commission. But what might have transformed lies in conditions & present resources of war.
Thirteen chapters of must enforceable laws & a foreword on the author Sun Tzu covers the entire spectrum of waging wars. From waging wars to the use of spies, intermingled brilliantly with tactics out of history this book has served as the stratagem guide to Napoleon & the Soviet political-military hierarchy, where it is obligatory bible for soldiers studying the art of war.
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