Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Art of War (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor) Paperback – November 13, 2002
2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top Customer Reviews
The one sentence review, pronouncing this to be the best translation, was perhaps a bit generous. Among both military and history buffs, the prevailing view is that the translation by Lionel Giles, of the British Museum, is the definitive translation. Of the various available editions of the Giles translation, the Special Edition that contains two complete copies of the English text - one with and one without extensive notes and commentary - in addition to the complete text in Chinese characters - is far and away the best.
The $4.95 price for this book (or for the matchbox size miniature edition from Running Press) is a bargain only for those who are more concerned with price than with value. Choosing a better edition of "The Art of War", rather than this rather skimpy edition, will be money well spent. It is far better to own a book you can be proud of and which does a better job of informing you than this merely passable edition.
The struture is blindingly simple - Sun Tzu writes short chapters about different areas of battle which consist of simple dictums. Utterly straightforward, and generalisable to any form of conflict.
Surface-reading this book will take you minutes, not hours - however, time must be spent with even the barest of his principles. The purchase of this book has become alarmingly trendy over recent years, but with no noticeable effect on the global intelligence of its middle manager market. Books like this do not read themselves.
A more accurate edition would have gained 5 stars without a second thought. The fact that much better versions are available (and freesource!) holds this version back.
In spite of the rather wordy introduction of this edition, it doesn't do justice the Sun Tzu's great book. It is a pale reflection of the real thing.
The full Giles Translation (which is NOT what this edition is) is a first-rate piece of literature that presents the genius of Sun Tzu in a way that it can be really understood and appreciated by modern English speaking readers. You should spend a few dollars more and get the full Giles Translation - it will be money well spent.
It is really amazing how this book is still applicable today, and not just to military operations, but to so many other aspects of life. Sun Tzu teaches in a straightforward style how to command an operation of utmost efficiency and effectiveness. Everything he recommends is only concerned with the best ends to the best means.
Rather than formulate rigid guidlines, Sun Tzu teaches us to base strategy on the infinite variety of circumstances and based on the foe we are facing. He teaches us to know ourselcves and whether we are in condition to attack, to know our enemies and know if they are in the condition to be atttacked, and to know the environmentla conditions in order to deermine whether fighting is practical. He advises us to have a balanced perspective based on defense and offense, the former protecting ourselves from defeat, and the latter making victory complete. He tells us to know the oppoenets weak spots and exploit them, and to avod where he is strong. And of course, he tells us to base warfare on deception, and to use direct methods and indirect methods in combination.
To use Sun Tzu's way, you must guard yourself, put on false appearances, and wait for the enemy to give you an opponent to make a mistake or leave himself open for atack. Then you must capitalize on it. He also says we shoudl bait opponents into vulnerbale spots. And we must use spies to gather information.Read more ›
You should note, however, that this is more of a booklet than a book. There is little to recommend this particular edition. The details, the subtle shades of meaning and the historical context, are left unexplained. If this is to be your only copy of Sun Tzu, you are going to miss out on a lot of the important details.
A better choice is "The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Special Edition" that contains two versions of the Giles' translation in one book: both a plain vanilla version and the complete version which includes a comprehensive introduction and a detailed running commentary.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good easy read that goes right to the point. It is worth reading every few months especially if you are in a position of leadership or an aspiring leader. Read morePublished 7 months ago by C. Shah
Essential reading for anyone interested in military strategy, along with "War" by Carl von Clausewitz, "War is politics by other means," and "The Prince" by... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Wayne O.
Gave as a gift; well -received. Unseen of the book/person, thereafter!Published 18 months ago by Tea Dubbleu
In my humble opinion, one of the best books ever written. A "must read" for any military buff or current military member.Published 19 months ago by Zeke
This ancient classic is a powerful read to survive in the modern work. It will help to win in the world of business, politics and personal affairs. Read morePublished on December 15, 2013 by Walter W. Ko
I enjoyed the item and hope other persons may be my be inten to buy this item also, it is helpful for work I thinkPublished on December 9, 2013 by shane cook
if you are into self enlightenment this is a good read for you. it breaks down things to make you look at everyday items in a different view. Read morePublished on November 11, 2012 by Tate