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The Art of War

by Sun Tzu

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,700216178 (3.84)1 / 221
A manual on the rational planning and conduct of military operations written over two millennia ago in China.
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» See also 221 mentions

English (183)  Spanish (13)  Portuguese (Portugal) (4)  Italian (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (3)  French (2)  Portuguese (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (214)
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from cover

Written in China more than 2,000 years ago. Sun Tzu's The Art of War is the first known attempt to formulate a rational basis for the planning and conduct of military operations. These essays have never been surpassed in comprehensiveness and depth of understanding, and might well be termed the concentrated essence of wisdom on the conduct of war. Terse and aphoristic, they contain princples still relevant today.

For many years there has been no satisfactory rendering into English of this unique classic. Samuel Griffith's accurate translation, relevant to modern conditions, and accompanied by selections from the many commentaries in the chinese language, is particularly welcome. The text is accompained by useful notes, appendices and bibliography. In addition, Griffith provides an excellent introduction, which covers the historical, biographical and philosophical bacgrdound of The Art of War.

Sun Tzu begins with the premise that war is of paramount importance to the survival of the state. All aspects of war, therefore, must be studied and thoroughly understood. (His concern is not only the battlefield; he is acutely aware of war's economic and political aspects as well.) Waging war successfully requires a firm grasp of the human, physical, and organizational factors involved. The wise leader understands and controls the constantly shitfting interaction of all three to achieve victory.

Above all, the wise leader follows a moral path, the tao (or right way). In Sun Tzu's eyes, the aim of war is victory over, not annihilation of, the enemy. As Samuel Griffith observes in the introdction, 'the primary target is the mind of the opposing commander; the victorious situation, a product of his creative imagination.

The precepts of The Art of War can be applied outside the realm of military theory. It is, for example, read avidly by the modern Japanese businessman. Remarkable for its clear organization, lucid prose, and the acuity of its intellectual and moral insights, Sun Tzu's classic remains as relevant today as it was 2300 years ago.


List of Abbreviations
I The Author
II The text
III The warring states
IV War in Sun Tzu's age
V Suntzu on War
VI Sun Tzu and Mao Tse-tung
Biography of Sun Tzu
I Wstimates
II Waging war
III Offensive Strategy
IV Dispositions
V Energy
VI Weaknesses and strengths
VII Manoeuvre
VIII The nine variables
IX Marches
X Terrain
XI The nine varieties of ground
XII Attack by fire
XIII Employment of secret agents
I A note on Wu Ch'i
II Sun Tzu's influence on Japanese military thought
III Sun Tzu in western languages
IV Brief Biographies of the commentators
Ch'un-Ch'iu Period
The contending states-boundaries of 350 B.C.
  AikiBib | May 29, 2022 |
Originally written in the 5th century, The Art of War is a masterpiece of military strategy and Chinese philosophy that has influenced countless leaders, both on the battlefield and in the boardroom. While reading it occurred to me that this text may just be an wonderful instruction book on how to navigate an honorable life.

For those who have never encountered this text before this new edition is perfect as the ancient text has already been modernized and condensed into the perfect pocket sized guide so that you may easily replace what once were Sun Tzus' ancient terms and placement of hierarchy and apply them to modern situations and people, It is my opinion that with this modern view one could use the brilliant ideas to not only succeed in many area's of your life both personal and professional, but it may also be used to help avoid disruptions to the peace in your life and your relationships. What more could we possibly ask for? This is coming out at a time when we, as a society, need to reabsorb this information and let ourselves actively practice the strategies in our every day lives which are more stressful, depressing, and all around challenging than they have in the last decade or so at least.

Thank you so much to netgalley and publishers for providing an e-copy to me so that I may share my thoughts with all of you. Without them I may not have picked up this book and I truly feel I would have been missing out on something incredible. Please don't let that happen to you! Let this highly readable gem sit firmly on the top of your TBR list only until it is published and accessible everywhere! ( )
  chasingholden | Apr 26, 2022 |
When I attended the Royal Australian Navy Staff College we had to prepare an essay on a famous strategist. The wise chose Sun Tzu, whose book was the shortest and who provided quite pithy wisdom. Those who chose [a:Clausewitz|19733902|Clausewitz|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] were confronted with the thick manuscript, posthumously edited by his wife and full of [a:Hegel's|20115964|Hegel Georg Willhem Friedrich|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] dialectical method. I am sure it was good for them! Sun Tzu has largely stood the test of time: the use of intelligence, attacking only when you have an advantage. taking advantage of terrain and weather, etc. Even though the technology was radically different, this seems to rare intrude into the text. You can happily note that there were two types of chariot without worrying much about it.

Sun Tzu seems to have been reinvented in recent years as a self-help guide. If this is your view, and you are not actually interested in warfare, try another book.

This edition is based on [a:Lionel Giles'|399312|Lionel Giles|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] 1910 translation. While there have been later translations, Giles' has stood the test of time well. Much, but not all, of the added commentary appears to be that collected or written by Giles. [a:Colin Powell's|138507|Colin Powell|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] views are clearly not!

This edition was an audiobook, originally prepared as two CDs - so about 195 minutes all up. It would be much shorter without the commentary. Goodreads states that the book is two pages long - it is short but not that short. Maybe there was an original leaflet with a bibliography that was two pages long, both this is just a reference to the two CDs. ( )
  dunnmj | Mar 10, 2022 |
Sunzi, Wade-Giles romanization Sun-tzu, also spelled Sun Tzu, personal name Sun Wu, (flourished 5th century bc), reputed author of the Chinese classic Bingfa (The Art of War), the earliest known treatise on war and military science.

Sunzi, a military strategist and general who served the state of Wu near the end of the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 bc), is traditionally considered the author of The Art of War, but the work is more likely to have been written early in the Warring States period (475–221 bc), at a time when China was divided into six or seven states that often resorted to war with each other in their struggles for supremacy.

The Art of War is a systematic guide to strategy and tactics for rulers and commanders. The book discusses various maneuvers and the effect of terrain on the outcome of battles. It stresses the importance of accurate information about the enemy’s forces, dispositions and deployments, and movements. This is summarized in the axiom “Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles with no danger of defeat.” It also emphasizes the unpredictability of battle and the use of flexible strategies and tactics. The book’s insistence on the close relationship between political considerations and military policy greatly. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Feb 15, 2022 |
  revirier | Dec 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
Sun Tzuova knjiga Umeće ratovanja, je jedno od najznačajnijih klasičnih kineskih dela.

Ova knjiga ne sadrži ni jednu zastarelu maksimu ili nejasno uputstvo. Najbolje je pobediti bez borbe, rekao je Sun Tzu. Za njega je rat bio sastavni deo života.

Pažljivo pročitajte ovu knjigu, i sve savremene knjige koje govore o upravljanju državom više vam se neće činiti dostojne pažnje.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com
Ralph Sawyer has produced a lively translation, with a historical essay and explanatory notes, of Sun-tzu’s classic work.
Sun-tzu has nothing to teach us about the technological aspects of war or the logistics required to feed a modern army, and his work obviously cannot speak to certain complex political relations between modern nations. But Sun-tzu’s book has much value, for it says a lot about how a commander should approach his enemy, how he should decide to attack or to retreat, how to outsmart an enemy, and what it takes to be victorious. He presents his ideas in a logical, principled way that is consistent with his deeper philosophy of nature.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tzu, Sunprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ames, Roger T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrera Parra, JaimeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cawthorne, NigelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clavell, JamesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cleary, Thomas F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Denma Translation GroupTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frasier, ShellyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Galvin, DallasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giles, LionelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gimian, JamesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Griffith, Samuel B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heath, DaveNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huang, J. H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hulskramer, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karkkolainen, HeikkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kramer, Gert-JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lévi, JeanTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liddell Hart, B.H.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mair, Victor H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantegna, JoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miceli, JayaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minford, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nojonen, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nylan, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oriele, RichardDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pieterse, AndersTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, RayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raver, LornaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, Ralph D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smit, KeesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, KidderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warrilow, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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War is a howling, baying jackal.
Sun Tzu said:
The art of war is of vital importance to the State.
Translator's Introduction: According to an old story, a lord of ancient China once asked his physician, a member of a family of healers, which of them was the most skilled in the art.
[Thomas Cleary]
Sun Tzu believed that even before considering a confrontation—for whatever purpose—it is essential to Calculate a complete analysis of the situation.
[R.L. Wing, Intro to Chapter 1]
Introduction:  It is an unusual book that was written 2500 years ago in an impenetrable classical language and yet figures on the recommended reading list of the United States Marine Corps.
[Version translated by James Trapp]
A battle that cannot be won is not worth fighting.
All warfare is based on deception.
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A manual on the rational planning and conduct of military operations written over two millennia ago in China.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The original and bestselling leadership book! Sun Tzu's ideas on survival and success have been read across the world for centuries. Today they can still be applied to business, politics and life. The Art of War demonstrates how to win without conflict. It shows that with enough intelligence and planning, it is possible to conquer with a minimum of force and little destruction. This luxury hardback edition includes an introduction by Tom Butler-Bowdon that draws out lessons for managers and business leaders, and highlights the power of Sun Tzu's thinking in everyday life.
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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140455523, 0143105752, 0141045272

Amber Books Ltd

An edition of this book was published by Amber Books Ltd.

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Columbia University Press

An edition of this book was published by Columbia University Press.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100674, 1400108411

Skyhorse Publishing

An edition of this book was published by Skyhorse Publishing.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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