The Art of War

The Art of War

[Sun-tzu Ping Fa]

Book - 1994
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An illuminating new look at the classic primer on warfare. Distinguishing itself from many previous versions, this contemporary translation of Sun-Tzu's landmark text acknowledges the work first and foremost as a masterpiece of military strategy. Translator Ralph Sawyer provides the most detailed introduction and commentary yet offered on the text, its author, and his age. Get inside the head of Sun-Tzu, and find out which significant historical battles influenced his thinking. Sawyer's exhaustive biographical research helps you separate the myth from the elusive man himself. Immerse yourself in the mindset of the Chinese military organization through an extensive overview of its history as well as its tactical use of chariots, horse and cavalry, armor and shields, and swords. Several supplementary sections illuminate relevant portions of the recently discovered tomb texts and "lost writings," reputed to be earlier variants of the standard version. A glossary identifies figures and terms for the convenience of readers unfamiliar with Chinese history and writings.
Publisher: New York : Barnes & Noble, c1994.
ISBN: 9781566192972
1566192978
9781566192989
1566192986
Branch Call Number: 355.02 Sun
Characteristics: 375 p. : 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Sawyer, Ralph
Sawyer, Mei-chün
Alternative Title: Sun-tzu ping fa.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Apr 25, 2019

Written as a manual for how to win wars, the art of war now has many uses outside of war, it is used in any competition such as sports and even stretches into the world of business, there are many CEOs and executives who have read this book and encourage the principals it teaches. In the book you will find how to strategically deploy an offensive attack, whether you are a striker for a soccer team, a hedge fund manager trying to leverage a buyout or are actually trying to deploy troops for an offensive attack. There is heavy emphasis on defense, increasing morale or getting the job done properly, being moral to the enemy and granting mercy. Finally how to use resources effectively. This book is 5/5 from me and is one of the many great philosophical books to come out of China. I recommend this book for to anyone competing in almost anything like the examples I listed previously. @selfhelpguru of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

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mjlcwep
Jan 22, 2019

U101 .S9513 2017

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gomiami1972
Jul 20, 2018

It gets 3 1/2 stars for two main reasons. First, I accept that some information is lost in translation but this is not a translation but a transliteration, which makes it even more dubious that I am getting the author's words and meanings rather than the translator's. This is the third version I have read and all three WIDELY differ. All of them contain stunning material but are these the thoughts of a Chinese general 2,500 years ago or the thoughts of a 20th century individual? Even native Chinese speakers can't agree on the meaning of certain characters.

Second, the text is obviously corrupt in many ways. Whole sections appear to be missing and, in a few chapters, other Chinese authors (albeit Chinese authors from antiquity) have inserted material. This is not surprising given the age of the text so this is not a criticism...it simply is a fact.

Overall, despite these limitations, The Art of War is a tremendous read, more for what it does not say rather than what it spells out, giving the reader head space to draw our own conclusions. Such a shame that the full, original text is not extant.

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MrGouda
Jun 27, 2018

This is basically a book with various proverbs from Sun Tzu with annotations from various sages and ancient generals. There are some very good nuggets of information sprinkled throughout. Don't go into this book thinking that this is a comprehensive guide to warfare, as it tends to focus on not just the practical aspects of war but also the psychology and philosophical ideology.

I have to admit, the book could have used some better organization like in the chapter of types of terrain they still bring up topics about negotiation and disciplining troops. Not the most organized book as it tends to wander off topic at times. But even when it does, there are still some useful information to be had.

Overall, there are some genuinely useful information spread throughout which can be applied to various applications in life. Depending on how you view things, some proverbs will be far more useful than others. Either way, I still found lots of thought provoking proverbs about philosophy and warfare.

b
blurpblurp
Mar 21, 2017

Berniebrunet:
Did what you said, looked up the quotes online, got the lay of the land. Best piece of advice in a long time. No need to waste one more minute on that.

Cheers.

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berniebrunet
Jan 02, 2017

The Art of War is a book of quotes organized in several arbitrary chapters. That's it.
There is no story here, no semblance of a plot, not even explicit advice, unless you are interested in 12th century army logistics.

As the author states in the long winded (38 pages) introduction, many quotes are purposely ambiguous, which reflects the uncertainty of life and the fact that leaders need to be adroit politicians. However, many are just paraphrases of others or are different shades of grey. Many are included in multiple chapters. And many should be in the trash bin of history. “ If there are birds on a citadel, then the army has fled.” Is this advice on an invasion? Investment guidance? Too many like this inhabit the book.

So who would benefit from this book? The demand for Sung Dynasty military strategic advice has certainly fallen off. The general reader would find this a tedious slog with few rewards. But if you are in the military or feel that your life and/or career has been one long battle (My sympathies), then possibly.

The hoary “Business is War” axiom will induce many an MBA to seek out this tomb. Don't waste your time. Instead, google “Quotes from The Art of War” and paste one or two on your screen background. Then find out your immediate supervisor's favorite quote from it (He hasn't read it either.) and in an appropriate moment, look thoughtful and regurgitate it. As Cao Cao said : “This means true information is not leaked. ”

LoganLib_Beenleigh Jun 28, 2016

Great book. Highly recommended

AbigailCurious Jul 28, 2015

It's a bible on war, and it reads like one.

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bsmith60653
Aug 12, 2014

Perfect

MANNYROJAS Aug 29, 2012

BE A WIINER WITHOUT FIGHT ,SAVING A LOT OF ENERGY AND RESOURCES

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gomiami1972
Jul 18, 2018

gomiami1972 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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