The Art of War Paperback – Jan 20 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
This new translation of the ancient Chinese military treatise includes chapters of historical analysis touching on its relevance to today's corporate environment.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Scott Brick's steady, imperative tone conveys Sun Tzu's certainty. Shelly Frasier's smooth counterpoint...balances Brick's pronouncements. Transitions between the two are flawless." ---AudioFile --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The struture is blindingly simple - Sun Tzu writes short chapters about different areas of battle which consist of simple dictums. Utterly straightforward, and generalisable to any form of conflict.
Surface-reading this book will take you minutes, not hours - however, time must be spent with even the barest of his principles. The purchase of this book has become alarmingly trendy over recent years, but with no noticeable effect on the global intelligence of its middle manager market. Books like this do not read themselves.
A more accurate edition would have gained 5 stars without a second thought. The fact that much better versions are available (and freesource!) holds this version back.
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".
Unlike so many others, he provides more, much more than a flimsy "briefing" to the given work. For this volume, he poses and then responds to key questions such as these in order to create a context, a frame-of-reference, for Sun Tzu's insights:
o What exactly can the modern reader get from a manual for waging war that is probably about 2,500 years old?
o What Are the book's "spiritual underpinnings" in addition to its practical advice about planning and waging war?
o What was the historical context, the frame-of-reference, in which Sun Tzu lived and worked?
o To what extent does his classic, The Art of War, reflect that period?
o According to Sun Tzu, what are the meaning and significance of each of the "five indispensable matters" that inform (or at least should inform) a leader's decisions, including the one to do nothing, at least for now?
o According to Sun Tzu, what are the various degrees of successful warfare, with the most valued being able to "subdue the enemy without a fight," closely followed by "taking whole" the enemy's forces and other resources?
o What are the "five occasions when victory can be foretold"?
As indicated earlier, Tom Butler-Bowdon's purpose in this Introduction is to create a context, a frame-of-reference, for Sun Tzu's insights. He does so brilliantly in this instance and in each of the volumes in the "Capstone Classics series that have been published thus far.
Most recent customer reviews
Great book, good read, educational tho so be prepared for it to be dry!Published 10 days ago by Emily-Rose
I enjoyed reading this and see myself reading it over and over. Although not a lengthy read, it's descriptive and allowed me to invision Sun Tzu's world.Published 1 month ago by kmnk8
One should read this book if one needs a deep understanding of strategic philosophy of what went down in conflicts in Chinese history and what is going on today or tomorrow. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joey
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