The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Art of War

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to deal with conflict wisely, honorably, victoriously, is already present within us. Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in t...

Title:The Art of War
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Art of War Reviews

  • Sporkurai

    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

    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 make an alliance or two. If these sound like things you don't already know, but would like to know, then this book is for you. However, in the off-chance you're in a position to command a war against enemy forces, and you DON'T study this book THOROUGHLY, you're probably going to die. Horribly. And all your country's women, children, and probably most of the men will be raped and slaughtered in such gruesome manner as to make those easily victorious soldiers who just did the raping and slaughtering vomit from their own gruesomeness.

  • Tom Marotta

    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

    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 ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril."

    "In war, numbers alone confer no advantage."

    "To ... not prepare is the greatest of crimes; to be prepared beforehand for any contingency is the greatest of virtues."

    "What is of the greatest importance in war is extraordinary speed: One cannot afford to neglect opportunity."

  • 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

    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

    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

    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 that result.

    I say, if you are going to be a politician in the generally-winning party and you don't like reading much, The Prince is for you. Very sly. If however you see yourself in opposition, arguing your point, try Sun Tzu first.

    For the rest of us the books are short and make interesting historical and somewhat philosophical reading but they aren't going to change your life other than giving you a leg up on the intellectual book ladder, always a plus for the pseuds!

  • Alejandro

    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

    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 person who forget the past or don't doing anything to learn about the past, he/she will be cursed to repeat history.

    In the case of this particular book,

    , besides the obvious reading by people in military careers, it's a recommended lecture to people in areas such as business, in special for management, and certainly you can apply many of the lessons of the book to almost any field of interaction with others where a "victory" is involved.

    Without deception, the WWII couldn't be won, since while the real invading forces of D-Day were arriving to Normandy's beaches, the core of Nazi's forces were in other place falling to false messages and even a false settlement with even fake tanks that in pictures taken from the air looked like the real deal.

    Hard lessons about this can be learn from the conflict in Vietnam, just to name the quickest example that came to my mind.

    Giving a rest to the horrors of real wars, this lesson is an interesting explanation of why adventure stories are always so captivating. Since, you never saw a "hero" facing a weak opponent. In real life is quite wise and logical to do it, but in fictional literature? Oh, you always read about the underdog battling against the odds and fighting a very stronger enemy. I guess that sometimes logic can be boring against the excitement of tall challenges.

    Easily this can be the fragment that I liked the most to read in this book, since after reading it, well, my first thought was about Captain Jean-Luc Picard from

    , since in fiction, usually almost any leading character hardly will fall to the fault #2, but many times, for the sake of excitement and showing daring scenes, some leaders are faulty to one of more than one of those mentioned faults. Again, the conflict between practical logic against excitement.

    A good example of lessons about war and leadership can be seen in the recent film

    where in a film industry willing to give as much warfare and destruction without delay for the sake of selling tickets, in this movie, you can watch to "Caesar", the leader of the rising Ape community and his struggles to avoid war at all costs since he knows well how hard and costly can be the losses of any war, not matter if you resulted in the "victorious" one.

    Sadly, wars is part of the humankind, since I think that even in those so-called "peace times", always, in some place, in a small scale or in a bigger scale, there has been a war. So, learning how to avoid a war, and if you have to do it, learning how to carry it out with the fewer loss of human lives (of both sides of the conflict), always is a relevant topic.

  • Anne

    Hey! Look at me stepping outside my comfort zone!

    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

    , but

    teenage boys. I need to prepare myself to defend my

    home from the invading

    hoards. I figured this book would help me

    (

    ) when you head into battle.

    Still, even teenage boys

    in compa

    Hey! Look at me stepping outside my comfort zone!

    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

    , but

    teenage boys. I need to prepare myself to defend my

    home from the invading

    hoards. I figured this book would help me

    (

    ) when you head into battle.

    Still, even teenage boys

    in comparison to the sheer terror that comes with sharing a home with pre-pubescent girls...

    I can definitely use the help of a master strategist. Although, in retrospect, I actually have one of those living with me. She's 10, and she's been fully in charge of my home since she clawed her way out of my womb. My husband says I was hallucinating (

    ), but I swear I saw her gnaw off her own umbilical cord.

    She's ruthless, clever, and has the smile of an angel.

    Anyway, I could have skipped this, and simply begged for the honor to sit at her feet and learn.

    But the cover said this was only a 4 1/2 hour book.

    Confession time: I did

    make it all the way through the audiobook.

    I did,

    , make it all the way through

    . That part of it was short. I don't know what the actual length of time was, but I listened to it while I was making dinner, and then took it with me on a short jaunt to Wal-mart.

    The rest of this particular audio is supposedly speculation about Sun Tzu's life, and a history lesson on the politics of the time he lived in.

    All the names bled together in my head, and the words just sort of sloshed around inside my brain till I finally gave up on it.

    I'm not saying is was badly done or boring, but my tiny dinosaur brain isn't built to process books without pictures. So listening to someone with a smooth jazzy voice read from a history book is just like

    for some sort of an internal meltdown to happen up there.

    So.

    I actually don't feel like Mr. Tzu had much to say that would help me out.

    I mean, a there were a few things translated into real life...

    Duh.

    Double duh. I've got every one of my kids on the payroll, and they each think they're the only mole I've got. Suckers!

    Hello? Why do you think I'm out at the pool all day long with them? It's not like I enjoy basking in the glow of my cellulite, all while gaining a few more liver spots. If Sun Tzu had mentioned dosing the enemy with Benadryl before long trips, I would have been more impressed.

    A lot of it, however, was about how to fight on different types of terrain. Swampy, mountainous, flat, etc..

    I need some sort of inside scoop that's going to give me an edge over the full blown she-devil I live with, the smaller demon-in-training (currently under the tutelage of the aforementioned she-devil), and the two walking hormones that used to be my little boys!

    Anyhoo, I'm glad I

    listened to it. It's one of those books you need to

    ...not read, though. So, I'm

    sure I missed the vast majority of wisdom by doing it this way.

    But so what? I can say I've read it!

  • 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

    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 favourable, one should modify one's plans.

    - All warfare is based on deception.

    - Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

    - Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

    - Now in order to kill the enemy, our men must be roused to anger; that there may be advantage from defeating the enemy, they must have their rewards.

    - In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

    - It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy's one, to surround him; if five to one, to attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two.

    - To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.

    - In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack — the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of manœuvres.

    - Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.

    - Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

    - The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.

    - Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.

    - Rouse him, and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity. Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.

    - Manœuvring with an army is advantageous; with an undisciplined multitude, most dangerous.

    - If you march thirty Li with the same object, two-thirds of your army will arrive.

    - Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy: — this is the art of retaining self-possession.

    - Do not pursue an enemy who simulates flight; do not attack soldiers whose temper is keen.

    - Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. Do not interfere with an army that is returning home.

    - When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

    - Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on them; make trouble for them, and keep them constantly engaged; hold out specious allurements, and make them rush to any given point.

    - Camp in high places, facing the sun. Do not climb heights in order to fight. So much for mountain warfare.

    - In crossing salt-marshes, your sole concern should be to get over them quickly, without any delay.

    - All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny places to dark.

    - When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate, and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment, before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or not he is in a position to fight, the result is ruin.

    - If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: “Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.”

    - Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots.

    - How to make the best of both strong and weak — that is a question involving the proper use of ground.

    - Unhappy is the fate of one who tries to win his battles and succeed in his attacks without cultivating the spirit of enterprise; for the result is waste of time and general stagnation.

    - No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.

    - Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men.

    - Hence it is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army for purposes of spying, and thereby they achieve great results. Spies are a most important element in war, because on them depends an army's ability to move.

  • Michelle

    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

    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, the text (I don't know if I should call it a primer) is more concerned with nonviolent strategy: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting,” it declares. Sun Tzu appears to regard war as a necessary, but wasteful, evil, and one to be avoided whenever possible. He made a lot of useful and brilliant points but this all I can remember. Most of the stuff I have read just went down the drain!

    Like I said, I'm a lover, not fighter! Buwahahaha!

  • 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.

  • Bill Paxton

    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:

  • Alex Farrand

    I listened to

    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.

    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

    I listened to

    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.

    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, but a verbal confrontation or debate would suffice Sun Tze's philosophical meanings. Even playing chess I could take his guide book, and reflect on the game.

    It was quite an interesting book, and I found myself grinning at a few verses. Other times I thought to myself what he was saying was really obvious, but again I wouldn't think about it. Sometimes I don't always notice the obvious, but good thing someone points it out. At the end, I don't think I would apply to be a general. I wouldn't be a great general. I am too impatient, and my emotions would get the better of me. I would sometimes take the bait, and I don't always see the full picture. You should see me play chess.

    Lastly, my imagination formulated a great picture while listening, and it was due to the narrator. By the way he did a great job.

    . Since Aiden Gillen is the little sly bastard Littlefinger on the HBO series

    , I imagined Littlefinger sitting by a fire, in a plush chair, reading

    over and over again. Littlefinger was soaking the information to guide him to play the game, and to win. Here are a few examples of how he uses the book to his advantage: Scouts are important to win the battle, which he has to watch everyone. He sweetens his words to gain ground when there is weakness, and says nothing at all when the enemy is vigilant. He BAITS his enemies to attack, and knows how to TRAP them. Littlefinger you sly devil.

    It was an interesting read, and I recommend it. You could learn something from it. Happy reading.

    My blog:


Books Finder is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.