Earl Grey Tea's Reviews > The Art of War

The Art of War by Sun Tzu
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Apr 01, 12

bookshelves: classics, chinese-literature, history, neil-degrasse-tyson-book-list
Read from March 30 to April 01, 2012

The version that I read came from Project Gutenberg. In this version, the book included an introduction along with commentary from the translator, Lionel Giles, and various Chinese historians including Li Ch'uan, Tu Mu, Ts'ao Kung and many others.

The introduction to this edition was mostly about the controversy around who exactly was Sun Tzu, when did he live, what parts of this work can be accredited to him and how much of the text has been altered over the times. Due to my extreme lack of Chinese history, this section was quite hard to follow and I didn't take too much away from it.

I have tried read the Art of War before but did not get very far due to the fact some of the advice presented is a bit open ended (and also that I was a bit young at the time). With the inclusion of comments, I found reading the Art of War easier and much more enjoyable. With the comments, certain points were clarified and a plethora of example were given from Chinese and European martial history that reflect the points being made by Sun Tzu.

Hindsight 20/20, I would have liked to have read this book before reading The Three Kingdoms. In this historical fiction, one can see the principles mentioned by Sun Tzu. Even one of the main characters, Cao Cao, is mentioned by some of the Chinese historian commentators for his military exploits.
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