The Art of War

The Art of War

Book - 2003
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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 this crisp, accessible new translation, John Minford brings this seminal work to life for today's readers. Capturing the literary quality of The Art of War -its lucid, epigrammatic, almost poetic style-as well as it philosophical and strategic content, Minford presents the core text in two different formats. First, the unadorned thirteen chapters allow readers to form their own first impressions of the ancient words of wisdom ascribed to Sun-tzu. Then the same text with extensive running commentary from the canon of traditional Chinese commentators and others, providing context and subtext to the work. A lively, learned introduction, chronologies, suggested readings, and other valuable apparatus round out this authoritative volume. Even those readers familiar with The Art of War will experience it anew, finding it more fascinating-and more chilling-than ever.
Publisher: New York : Penguin, 2003, c2002.
Edition: Deluxe ed. --
ISBN: 9780140439199
Characteristics: lvi, 325 p. --
Additional Contributors: Minford, John


From Library Staff

These insights serve as an excellent guide to strategy, tactics and success in the world of business.

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Mar 21, 2017

Did what you said, looked up the quotes online, got the lay of the land. Best piece of advice in a long time. No need to waste one more minute on that.


Jan 02, 2017

The Art of War is a book of quotes organized in several arbitrary chapters. That's it.
There is no story here, no semblance of a plot, not even explicit advice, unless you are interested in 12th century army logistics.

As the author states in the long winded (38 pages) introduction, many quotes are purposely ambiguous, which reflects the uncertainty of life and the fact that leaders need to be adroit politicians. However, many are just paraphrases of others or are different shades of grey. Many are included in multiple chapters. And many should be in the trash bin of history. “ If there are birds on a citadel, then the army has fled.” Is this advice on an invasion? Investment guidance? Too many like this inhabit the book.

So who would benefit from this book? The demand for Sung Dynasty military strategic advice has certainly fallen off. The general reader would find this a tedious slog with few rewards. But if you are in the military or feel that your life and/or career has been one long battle (My sympathies), then possibly.

The hoary “Business is War” axiom will induce many an MBA to seek out this tomb. Don't waste your time. Instead, google “Quotes from The Art of War” and paste one or two on your screen background. Then find out your immediate supervisor's favorite quote from it (He hasn't read it either.) and in an appropriate moment, look thoughtful and regurgitate it. As Cao Cao said : “This means true information is not leaked. ”

LoganLib_Beenleigh Jun 28, 2016

Great book. Highly recommended

AbigailCurious Jul 28, 2015

It's a bible on war, and it reads like one.

Aug 12, 2014


MANNYROJAS Aug 29, 2012


Dec 08, 2010

A great chinese classic. Despite the title it contains deep wisdom. This book in my opinion it is a must read.

Oct 08, 2010

Was highly recommended to me by training instructor - as a book on how to be politically savvy.

Jan 28, 2010


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