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The Art of War

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  250,250 ratings  ·  7,923 reviews
For more than two thousand years, Sun-tzu's The Art of War has provided leaders with essential advice on battlefield tactics, managing troops and terrain, and employing cunning and deception. An elemental part of Chinese culture, it has also become a touchstone for the Western struggle for survival and success, whether in battle, in business or in relationships. Now, in th ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by Penguin Classics (first published -500)
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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 compa
...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 Eggs
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
...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...
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 per
...more
Alex Farrand
I listened to The Art of War for a few reasons; 1) It was only a hour long, 2) It was free because I am an Amazon Prime member, 3) It was narrated by Aiden Gillen, also known as Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger. So, I jumped into it, and listened to it during a car ride.

The Art of War is a well versed, and short guide book to strategize, and tactically win a war. There were tons of great advice, and still relatable today. I would go even deeper that it doesn't entirely reflect on physical warfare
...more
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
...more
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
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 igno
...more
Brina
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china, classics
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 t
...more
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
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 th
...more
Heidi The Hippie 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 were
...more
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 fav
...more
Araz Goran
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

" الكـتاب المـقـدس للـدراسـات العـسكـرية "



خمسة وعشرون قرناً من الزمان ولا يزال كتاب " فن الحرب " من أهم وافضل الكتب الحربية والعسكرية ومازال من ضمن قائمة أهم مائة كتاب في التاريخ..


سن أتزو جعل من الحرب فناً ،خدعة ودهاء، تعليمات عسكرية صارمة وتكتيكات عبقرية وخطط ماكرة واقعية فذة، تفكير في أدق تفاصيل شؤون الحرب وإغتنام كافة السبل و الفرص المؤدية إلى النصر المؤزر في أي معركة بكيفية واقعية لا تخرج عن نطاق الممكن..


قد لا يهمه عدد الجنود في داخل المعركة ولا قوة العدو ولا نوع الأسلحة ولا التضاريس التي
...more
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 title
...more
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 learne
...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
...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, a
...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.
Bookdragon Sean
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 respo ...more
Foad
یک فرمانده ی بزرگ نظامی، پانصد سال قبل از میلاد مسیح، کتابی اعجاب انگیز و ستودنی در مورد شیوه های فرماندهی لشکر می نویسد که تا سال های سال، در کشورهای شرق دور به عنوان دستور راه فرماندهان جنگ استفاده می شده. هم اکنون این کتاب در لیست کتاب های پیشنهادی ارتش امریکا برای دانشگاه های افسری و نظامی است.

این کتاب، درست در مقابل هاگاکوره: کتاب سامورایی قرار می گیرد.

هاگاکوره، کتابی سامورایی، یاد می دهد که چطور از شکست و مرگ نهراسید و اهدافی والاتر از سودهای دنیوی و عقل حسابگر داشته باشید: به فکر شجاعت ب
...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 excepti
...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.
Obied Alahmed
هناك مبالغة كبيرة في المقدمة و التمهيد لاهمية الكتاب و كأنه الكتاب الذي لا مثيل له بعظم نصائحه وامكانية تطبيقه في جميع مناحي الحياة العسكرية اساسا ومن ثم الحياة اليومية والاقتصادية والعلاقات الانسانية وهذا ما شدد على ذكره في المقدمة وأنه من أسباب انتشار الكتاب
ولكن توضيح ذلك كان ضعيفا جدا

- الكتاب يتحدث عن نصائح في مجال الحروب و المعارك شنها و توقيتها واختيار الأرض المناسبة .. الخ
- فيه تكرار كبير جدا لا يقل عن مرتين أو ثلاث بل بعض النصائح كررت قرابة الخمس مرات
- موسع بشكل مبالغ فيه و كرأي شخصي كا
...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!
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 situa ...more
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 recomm ...more
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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
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“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” 2816 likes
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” 2219 likes
More quotes…