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The Art of War: Complete Text and…

The Art of War: Complete Text and Commentaries

by Thomas Cleary

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1391133,100 (4.2)None
Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to respond to conflict wisely, thoroughly, and victoriously is right before us at all times. The key to skillful action in any situation is in knowing those things that make up the environment and then seeing the patterns they form so that their power becomes available to us. It is not necessary to change the nature of things to find victory. Since, as Sun Tzu teaches, aggression and response in kind can lead only to destruction, we must learn to work with conflict in a more profound and effective way. The Art of War shows us how.The Art of War gives us proven strategic skills to apply when we need to take action and overcome obstacles in rapidly changing, chaotic situations. Though ancient in origin, these strategies are accessible because they are based on the ways we already do things...… (more)



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I read The Art of War when I was younger and decided to read this version because it had comments of various famous generals from the ancient China. I was expecting to find out HOW Sun Tzu's techniques were used in battle and the leaders' thoughts about the procedures described in the classical tactics book. Well, I won't complain too much. In the "Mastering the Art of War" part of the book I found exactly what I was looking for. Unforunately enough, I didn't find anything else in the book very useful. I expected so much more from the great strategist of their times, but the impression I was given was that either a lot of depth of meaning was lost in the translation or for all this time I've been overestimating the generals and strategists. The comments are not exactly what I call "constructive". For most part of the book, I felt like I was reading the exact same sentence over and over again.

As for the author's point of view about the tactics adopted by the generals and strategists mentioned in the book... it was just annoying. It seemed that every single sentence of the original Art of War were re-written as detailedd as a History book. The introduction of each part of the book sums up everything that is going to be mentioned for the rest of the chapters and as you read the rest of the chapter, you just keep wondering what was the purpose of the intro if everything it was said was also mentioned in the rest of the book.

Worth reading because of "Mastering the Art of War". But I'd rather only get "Mastering the Art of War" rather than this one. ( )
1 vote aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
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