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The Art of War

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  282,412 ratings  ·  9,097 reviews
Sun Tzu was one of the greatest army generals who ever lived. He wrote The Art of War in the fifth century BC. His writings on aspects of warfare from the laying of plans to the tactics and psychology of manoeuvering an army, to the proper use of spies, resonate for us in this world of cut-throat, ruthless business.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published 1981 by Hodder (first published -500)
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Ashleigh It's funny, but what really got me interested in this book was the album of the same name by Sabaton.
Thomas Huynh If you like Sun Tzu's Art of War, you might also like Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings and Baltasar Gracian's Art of Worldly Wisdom.
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Anne
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hey! Look at me stepping outside my comfort zone!

description

I saw this audiobook in the library, and I thought it looked interesting.
Hell, I've got 4 kids. This could come in handy.
Next year I'll have not one, but two teenage boys. I need to prepare myself to defend my babies home from the invading whores hoards. I figured this book would help me gird my loins (or whatever it is you do) when you head into battle.
Back off, Skanks! You're not getting past the front door!

description

Still, even teenage boys pale in
...more
Lily C
I definitely never thought i'd want to read a book about Chinese military strategy written in 5th century BC .... yet here we are.
This one turned out to be so interesting.
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
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Alejandro
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
...more
Bill Paxton
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book... Pretty amazing insights. What I really loved is the fact that much of the insights can be used in today's fiercely competitive corporate scenarios as well. Must read! I bought this book at special price from here:
https://www.amazon.com/Art-War-Sun-Tz...
Lyn
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who reads the Art of War?

OK, sure everybody, or anybody can, but who actually does and why?

If we could somehow take a survey and create a pie chart of who reads this 2500 year old Chinese manual, what would we find, who reads it?

Military professionals, sure; executives, probably – wanna be executives, almost certainly; sports coaches, law enforcement officers, school teachers, teenage gamers, etc etc.

The title will get attract and repel many all by itself. The text, full of philosophical musings
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MischaS_
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, english
Finally finished the first book of this year! Yay! Took me a lot of time due to my exams and uni in general.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”


I wanted to read The Art of War for very long and I finally managed to get to it.

And I liked it. I think everybody should read it because many of the ideas from the Art of War can be found in different fields, for example in business.

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

“Let your plans be dark
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Dannii Elle
If anyone is looking for a war general I am available and well versed in war tactics due to this book. Hook me up.
Sporkurai
May 05, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  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
Roy Lotz
The Art of Goodreads

1. Lotz says: The greatest books are the ones you never have to read, and the greatest words are the ones you never have to speak. Likewise, the greatest book reviews are the ones you never have to write.

2. There are five types of books: (1) Ones I have read. (2) Ones I have not read. (3-5) It's complicated.

3. To begin a book, find its weakest point. This is commonly the first page.

4. Do not turn the page too slowly, as you will make it greasy; do not turn it too quickly,
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Colleen
Sep 16, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Tom Marotta
Jul 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.

CLASSICS:

"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
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Sūnzǐ Bīngfǎ= The Art of War, Sun Tzu
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 771 to 476 BC). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu ("Master Sun", also spelled Sunzi), is composed of 13 chapters. Each one is devoted to a distinct aspect of warfare and how that applies to military strategy and tactics. For almost 1,500 years it was the lead text in an anthology that would be formalised as
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Ahmed H. Mansour
It is hard to speculate that this book has been written for one single era...When you read it you realise it meant to stay and teach all the humanity, a book that needs to be taught in schools, teaching kids how to THINK....How it is SIMPLE to THINK....Now THAT`S somthing they don`t usually teach us to know when we are nothing but small lads....Such a damn complicate world :(

Here`s a small taste of what you may find in this small book :)
-----------------------
- According as circumstances are
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Michelle
Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This was on the "Surprise Yourself" stack at the library. It was a choice between "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "The Art of War". I took the latter even if I think I'm more of a lover than a fighter. Besides, the stack was on the front desk, choosing the former is kinda awkward. I am quite surprised I finished this book. I felt like I subjected myself to study even if I'm not required to do so. It's actually quite entertaining, more so that I know that there won't be a test later.

Despite the
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Heidi The Reader
Frankly, I got tired of my husband quoting this and having no idea what he was talking about. So, Heidi-the-Hippie/Librarian picked up The Art of War. I must love him a great deal because this was so not my thing though I valiantly struggled my way through it. I'd say about three quarters of the book was commentary and translation quibbles on the text itself, which is really rather brief and kind of pretty in a "this is how you kill a bunch of people" sort of way.

My big take-aways from this
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Brina
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, china
Sun Tzu's The Art of War is said to be the oldest military treatise in the world. Written centuries before the height of the Chinese empire before the common era, this slim volume did not make its way to the west until 1890, when French colonists brought a copy back to Paris. Regarded as classic by many, I decided to read the treatise for myself. Selecting an edition translated by Lionel Giles, the version I read was a mere 98 pages in length and at times underwhelming.

The first forty pages of
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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
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Marvin
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
...more
Lily
Aug 25, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Adrian
Now I was a senior manager for a number of years and walked the walk as well as talked the talk, I went on many training courses to learn management techniques and was even trained as a trainer for Stephen Covey as well as Tom Peters, so I am more than aware of these techniques, BUT I had never heard of Sun Tzu and apparently he is de rigeur now.
Well all I can say is its not a patch on Covey, I found it boring and somewhat unintelligible albeit interesting, but relevant to management techniques,
...more
R.K. Gold
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glad I finally read this book. I know it's considered one of the ultimate classics and I had always put it off because it's short, justifying the procrastination to myself by saying "I can read it in a day it's no big deal if I start tomorrow." Well tomorrow finally came and I read it.

I found the chapters on maneuvering and land to be the most fascinating. The direct descriptions and exact measurements of how to respond in these situations were enthralling.
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
We all know one person who has an answer for everything. This person is usually annoying and won’t accept that sometimes they’re just wrong; they won’t accept that at some point their logic may fail them and run dry; they’re completely resolute in what they believe and they just won’t budge from it: they simply can’t be proven wrong or at fault. This is how I feel about Sun Tzu. It’s like he interpreted questions and doubts before they were born, and countered them with his own logic based ...more
Fabian {Councillor}
At approximately 2,500 years of age, "The Art of War" has not only become one of the predominant guides on successful military warfare, but also a classic of history and philosophy in its own right. Various different editions of this book exist all over the world, and it can't be denied how much influence "The Art of War" had on many events throughout the history of the world.

What I found most interesting was that it could be read in so many different ways. More obviously, it's a guide on
...more
Alice Poon
I read the Chinese version with English translation. I was most impressed with this observation: that winning every war is not the best scenario; the most ideal scenario is where one manages to repel an enemy without fighting. The other theory I found convincing is that a shrewd fighter would choose his men wisely and would know how to ride the prevailing situation. Most of the contents would seem to be practical common sense.

The keynote of the first chapter ~ all warfare is based on deception ~
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Understanding the ground you're standing on (strategically) is a paramount concern of Sun Tzu's treatise on The Art of War. This ground (and the moves and countermoves you can make from it) can be interpreted not just as advice on combat, but also on business and relationships. This is book I've known about for a long time. So I'm glad I got to read it, but I'm not sure it inspired me to action or to think differently about the world. Maybe that will come later.
Tassa DeSalada
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be read in high school, and then again in college, and then again at the start of every new job or lifestyle change. The information it contains is useful for every stage in your life, over and over again. The information is useful in order to create long-term strategies, but also to fortify your defenses. The best offense is a good defense. This book will clue you into what’s out there waiting for you. People are sneaky and malicious. Sun Tzu discusses almost every shitty ...more
Reading Corner
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I really enjoyed reading this, it was really interesting and insightful. I know I'll definitely be reading this again!
Steven Walle
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art of War was written around 500 BC by a man of amazing stragedy named Sun Tzu. It was written on very thin strips of bamboo and pain stakenly sewed together. This volume describes the strgedies to create a very successful life, win in battles and relationships. This book has been used through the ages as a guide in battles. It is the cor coriculum in many war colleges including West Point. Sun Tzu successfully predicted the outcome of the battle of Getiesberg, and the Vietnam war. I ...more
Florencia
Sun Tzu was a Chinese military general that lived apparently around the 6th century BC. So, this treatise has been around for a couple of years. Its maxims have been used by many well-known people through history.

Before this book, I read another one of similar characteristics, A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy (review here). There were a couple of insightful reflections in both books. They are not mainly about cold strategies and tactics. They wrote about discipline, honesty,
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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
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“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” 3015 likes
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” 2374 likes
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