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The Art of War

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  133,398 ratings  ·  4,122 reviews
Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is already present within us. Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in t ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published January 11th 2005 by Shambhala Publications (first published -512)
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Becca It's actually on the US military's recommended reading list for soldiers....
Dustin I enjoyed the Ralph D Sawyer version. The actual text of the Art of War in that one is in the second half, and he spends the first half of the book…moreI enjoyed the Ralph D Sawyer version. The actual text of the Art of War in that one is in the second half, and he spends the first half of the book building the historical context of the work.(less)
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Petra X
Simply put, Sun Tzu says that it is better not to fight than to be involved in a conflict, but if you are going to have to fight, then you have to do it to win, and these are the various strategies, often brutal, that will get you that result.

Niccolò Machiavelli, in The Prince says if you are in a position of power and seek to maintain it, it is better to be loved and respected, but if you can't achieve that, then at least enforce respect and these are the, often brutal, strategies that will get
Steve Sckenda
Mar 14, 2015 Steve Sckenda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Steve by: Gordon Gekko
Sun Tzu wrote “The Art of War” in China 2,500 years ago. Many of us had never heard of Sun Tzu (pronounced Sun Soo) until Michael Douglas, playing Gordon Gekko, in "Wall Street" (1987) quoted him, and 20 years later, we laughed when Tony Soprano mangled a quotation from “Sun TAH’ZOO.”

Sun Tsu organized his military strategy around the principles of flexibility, deception, knowledge of the enemy, and avoidance of frontal assaults. Here are some of Sun Tzu’s most interesting thoughts about fightin
The wise warrior avoids the battle.

I can't think in a better quote to begin this review.

Sometimes, reading books about war tactics or novels of the genre of war, is confused with glorify wars, destruction, death and all sad things that are results of a war. But, at least, in my case (I can't speak for others) it's not that. I don't glorify war. One of my favorite historical subjects is World War II, but it's not because an insane instinct of glorify war. I just support the concept that any per
May 05, 2007 Sporkurai rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: morons or tacticians
Evidently, it seems, for the last couple thousand years, EVERYONE has been using the same textbook on how to conduct a war. It also seems to be that nobody even knows for sure who wrote the book or when, but everyone uses it anyway. Included in this book are precious reminders that strategy helps you win, retreating helps you not die, if you outnumber the enemy 5 to 1, attacking would probably be a good idea, and also if you're a tiny country surrounded by powerful countries, it might be time to ...more
Tom Marotta
Jul 17, 2007 Tom Marotta rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: all
So many little wars must be waged daily. Works on the battlefield and the office.


"When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move."

"In conflict, straightforward actions generally lead to engagement, surprising actions generally lead to victory."

"Thus those skilled in war subdue the enemy's army without battle .... They conquer by strategy."

"Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are igno
My wife says watching me read The Art of War is like watching Danny DeVito read The Joy of Sex. I'm not sure how to take that.

Bottom line, I'm a lover not a fighter. I started this because I know that many people love this work and say they get a lot out of it. But it became clear to me after quite a few pages that The Art of War really is about fighting a war no matter what other people might interpret it to be. So I'm not interested.

Besides the two things I need to know about fighting I learne
Sep 16, 2008 Colleen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Imperial Chinese military strategies.
While Sun Tzu is constantly praised for his work on The Art of War, I find it hard to believe that it has inspired anyone. This famous military strategy book has provided people such as Napoleon and the cast of 'Survivor: China' advice on handling the opposing force. However, despite the simple (yet adequate) translation that Lionel Giles provided, The Art of War does nothing more than to reiterate common sense. Sun Tzu asks the audience to not show off their strong points, but to lead the enemy ...more
Riku Sayuj

Quick Demo: On Ruining a Classic Text

Kaufman (author more than translator, I feel) boasts: In this work you will learn how people are to be treated and dealt with. The work was written for men in command and leaders of states. It is for the ambitious and strong spirited; do not seek morality lessons here.

Sun Tzu has been translated and interpreted countless times by people with little knowledge of true combat reality on either the physical or mental level.

Most of the available translations and i
If you've ever picked up a self-help book where the author is repeatedly stating the obvious, then you've experienced the writing style of this book. The overall concepts could've been summarized in a short essay rather than a book. Its length is a testament to its antiquity, though the author has done a noble job of re-ordering and editing bits of the chapters to provide continuity and to delete repetition.

Oriental philosophy is often ripe with a kind of double-speak and this book is no excepti
Huda Aweys
My review in English first then in Arabic - مراجعة بالانجليزية يليها مراجعة بالعربية
The arts of war, a new field i did not read in it before, sometimes I felt that I am reading a plan of offensive football team ! And at other times i felt like I am reading women's plan to provoke its neighbor! :) It is comprehensive book about the wars that we face in our lives in general;>
تلك اول مرة أقرأ فيها عن ذلك النوع من الفنون ! شعرت أحيانا و كأننى اقرأ خطة هجومية لفريق كرة قدم ! و احيانا اخرى و ك
Alfaniel Aldavan
Oct 13, 2013 Alfaniel Aldavan marked it as abandoned
The Art of War against corporate takeover of user rights

"If you don't pay for the product, then you're not the customer, you're the product", media analysts have told us plainly a long time ago.

Be that as it may, the GoodReads experience has both common and unique features. The past years have seen MySpace raise and fall, Facebook shamelessly mocking users privacy and still going on, Twitter changing their API according to the phase of the moon and keeping personal data hidden from users, Google
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally here.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read for the first time a hundred so-called "classics," then write essays on whether or not they deserve the label. The Art of War is essay #27 of this series.

The story in a nutshell:
More of a technical manual than a piece of general literature, The Art of War is a field gui
Ahmed Abdelhamid
مراجعة كتاب صن تسو كاملة...
كتبت تعليقا كلما سمحت الفرصة بالتوازي مع المراجعة.
الكتاب عبارة عن مجموعة من الحكم و النصائح المباشرة، يسقطها البعض بالأساس على العلوم الاستراتيجية الحربية كأحد الكتب الكلاسيكية في فن الحرب. ولكن أيضا يعتبر مرجعا رئيسا لكتب الإدارة و القيادة بشكل عام. البعض يسقط النصائح نفسها على “التجارة”.

لماذا الكتاب مهم؟

كما أسلفنا، قيل أن أمريكا اعتمدت خططا منه في حرب عاصفة الصحراء، و اعتمده الفيتناميين في حربهم ضد امريكا، و اعتمده الإسرائيليين في حروب كثيرة مع العرب، و
Dec 05, 2009 PlatKat rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Boys
Recommended to PlatKat by: Bryan, and then Dominic
Back when I was the tender age of 16, a guy I really liked lent me this book. He said it was his favorite book and that I would love it too. I excitedly rushed home to devour this piece of literature in hopes that we could have one more thing in common to bring us even closer together.

Now I'm 28, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. This time, I am living in sin with the guy I do so very much desire, and I know he doesn't give a rat's ass whether I read the book or not.

But ju
Riku Sayuj
Not entirely sure if Giles' was the right translation to pick up. In any case, it had a certain majesty to it and the timeless elegance of great works. Not sure about the relevance and applicablity that the back cover boasted of though. My interest was derived primarily from the rich tapestry it wove of 600 BC China.
The version of the Art of War I would recommend is by Shambhala. It's the most readable and most touching translations I've found of this book. The Shambhala translation comes with essays by the Shambhala group, which add to the great depth and breadth of this work. I've read this book two or three times, with the essays, and I will continue to read it many more times throughout my life. Despite the name, it's not just for those interested in war. It's a book about strategy and rhythms and flow ...more
5.0 stars. One of the most influential books ever written and certainly the foundational book on basic military strategy and tactics. Amazingly enough, its wisdom is still relevant today even after over 2500 years since its original creation.
Tariq Alferis
. إن الدولة التي تم تدميرها مرة لا يمكن أن تعود لسابق مجدها، تماماً كما أن الموتى لا يعودون في هذا العالم إلى الحياة ثانية..
أحد أهم المؤلفات العسكرية في التاريخ، كتاب صن تسو يعتبر من الكُتب الكلاسيكية العسكرية ومُلهم للعديد من القادة ومرجع هام للاستراتجيات العسكرية والحروب نصائح قديمة كُتبت من سنة 600 قبل الميلاد عبقرية عسكرية عظيمة، مُقارنة بحروب اليوم على الحمقى من المليشيات في ليبيا أن تدرس هذا الكتاب على الأقل قراءة كتاب من 2000 ونيف سنة أفضل من العشوائية وغباء حروبكم،.
الكُتب العسكرية مُهمة

Give or take a few thousand years and things that count haven't changed all that much.
Wise words of the old general still ring true, although they sometimes leave a bitter after taste.
Maybe because they are stripped on any romanticism that more modern authors love to coat them in?
War is at its core a dirty business.
Arwa Taleb
دون معرفة مسبقة عنه وصدفة رأيت عنوانه في أحد المكتبات (فن الحرب)
دفعني العنوان لأعرف عما يتحدث، قرأت الغلاف وإذا بعبارة " ما سر أهمية كتاب فن الحرب؟ "
(( حين تقرأ ن قيادة القوات الأمريكية حرصت أثناء ذهابها إلى دول الخليج الأول على أن يحمل كل جندي أمريكي نسخة من كتاب فن الحرب))
إضافة إلى أن الشركات اليابانية تستخدمه في مجالات التجارة.
كما أننا في زمن ثورات وحروب، دفعني هذا كله لقراءته..
من مآخذ هذا الكتاب:
> أنه من ألفي عام فبعض أفكاره لا تتوافق مع حداثة عصرنا وتطور الأسلحة وخباثة عدونا.
> نحن ك
The Art of War is often referenced in other books and movies as being a great source of information on how to strategize in business as well as war. I believe Donald Trump has raved about it more than once as something that has helped him build his, um, "empire".

The first section is the Lionel Giles' translation of Sun Tzu's masterpiece; the second section is also Lionel Giles' translation of Sun Tzu's masterpiece, with his own interpretations interspersed throughout the reading. Essentially one
Hm... evo čekao sam da mi se malo stalože misli povodom ove knjige... ali ostajem pri tri zvezdice!
Da, da, da - znam šta bi neki od vas rekli i slažem se - za ono vreme kada je knjiga napisana ona je stvarno odlična kao traktat o ratovanju i puna raznih saveta.
Međutim, sa ovih trideset i nešto godina, sa "iskustvom" iz raznih lekcija koje se nalaze u istorijskim udžbenicima, kao i sa "iskustvom" iz raznih drugih knjiga ova knjiga me je ipak ostavila razočaranim i ravnodušnim.
Možda bi ocena bila
I should have read this sooner. The amount of information I inherited from the traditional Chinese commentators is ridiculously high. I am going to apply what I learned from this book to my life. Everything I do. I'll be quoting Master Sun for a while. I apologize in advance to those who talk to me on a daily basis.

I read this in one sitting, since it's relatively short, with and/or without the commentary. I read without commentary first, then followed up with commentary. These guys seriously p
كتاب فن الحرب لصن تزو هو أقدم كتاب فى التاريخ وضع فى فن الحرب وبالفعل الكتاب يشتمل على العديد من فنون الحرب على جميع المستويات وقد أعجبنى جدا إذا أنه شاملا او هكذا رأيته لكن قراءة النص الصينى المترجم وحده أعتقد لن تفهمه وتعرف مدى أهميته وتطبيقاته إذا لم تكن عسكريا لكن من حسن حظى أن الترجمة التى كانت معى كانت تشتمل على النص الصينى وتعطى أمثله عليه من الحروب على مر تاريخ منذ معارك هانيبال الشهيرية وبعض حروب الفراعنة مرورا بالحروب فى الحضارة الإسلامية والقرن الوسيط وصولا إلى الحروب العالمية فى العص ...more
Lina AL Ojaili
معلومات ومهارات بدائية غير مناسبة مع تقدم الحالي
لكن يمكن تطبيق هذه المبادئ خارج إطار الحروب والمعارك
I hoped to get more from the Art of War than I did. I hoped to find in this translation of the ancient text metaphors and symbolic formulations that I could apply to my own life. In particular I hoped to find ways to overcome the challenges in life that we create in our minds. I also hoped to find ways to become a better drummer: stronger, clearer of mind, more fearless. Perhaps I expected too much. I think this text bears more heavily upon those who seek to excel in adversarial endeavors, such ...more
Eric Kinney

"The Art of War" is an ancient Chinese military doctrine widely believed to have been written by one of history's greatest military figures, Sun Tzu, who was a high-ranking general, strategist, and tactician in the 5th century BCE. Though a relatively short book, "The Art of War" consists of 13 chapters each covering one aspect of warfare, from the management of a state during periods of conflict, to understanding your enemy on the battlefield by respecting their advantages and exploiting their
Clif Hostetler
This is a short book with proverbs and aphorisms related to war. It's an ancient book, perhaps circa 400 B.C.E. However, scholars are not in complete agreement about it's origins. The shortness of the book itself is tolerable. However, the commentary that comes with it in this edition is long and boring. If you're not planning on waging war in the near future, this book is probably not worth your time. The effort of some authors to apply the wisdom of this book to other parts of life such as bus ...more
The Art of War has been on my ‘to read’ list for a long time because it seems to be frequently referenced and I wanted to read the source of the hype. Sun Tzu’s lists of adages are grouped by topic into 13 chapters (see helpful overview at Wiki Art of War.

The chapter titles are: 1) Laying Plans (Detail Assessment & Planning, Calculations); 2) Waging War (The Challenge); 3)Attack by Stratagem (Strategic Attack, The Plan of Attack); 4) Tactical Dispositions (Disposition of the Army, Positionin
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Sun Tzu (孫子; pinyin: Sūnzǐ) is a honorific title bestowed upon Sūn Wu (孫武 c. 544-496 BC), the author of The Art of War (孫子兵法), an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. Sun Tzu believed in the use of the military sciences to effect outcomes that would result in peace.

In the author's name, Sūn Wu, the character wu, meaning "military", is the same as the character in wu shu
More about Sun Tzu...
Sun Tzu's the Art of War: Plus the Ancient Chinese Revealed The Art of War by Sun Tzu & the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi The Art of War/The Book Of Lord Shang (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) The Book of War: Sun-tzu The Art of Warfare & Karl von Clausewitz On War The Art of War Plus the Art of Management: Strategy for Leadership

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“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” 1778 likes
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” 1457 likes
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