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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 1999
An absolute necessity for businessmen, strategists, parents, kids, plankton, bacteria...basically anything that breathes life. Applicable from battlefield to the owners manual for your life.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 6, 2002
The Art of War is considered a classic of military strategy, and is frequently rapplied in the business arena. Is it about the military, or achieving victory with the mind? Was Sun Tzu really a general? Did he really behead 50 maidens for not taking his military drills seriously? (The next 50 were more serious students - motivation!)
Independent of the truth of the legend, the truths in this book are worth pondering.
Take one piece of advice, roughly paraphrased as,
"Know thy self, win some of the time.
Know thy enemy, win some of the time.
Know both thy self and thy enemy, and win all of the time"
At the surface, this is so obvious as to not be profound.
But look at it's applicability...
How many companies worry so much about their competitors that they don't understand what they're good at? To defeat a corporate competitor, you must know your competitive advantage.
How many people think, "This purchase is in my best interest, so I'll buy it" without considering the price.
How many politicians are willing to say, "It doesn't matter what the Al Quada was thinking, it was wrong, so we must bomb them" How can we truly beat them if we don't understand them?
There are literally hundreds of these truths to ponder - so obvious until you look at how infrequently they're done.
This ancient wisdom is worth more than reading, it's worth understanding.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2013
Book is not formatted, extremely difficult to follow. I lost interest after reading a couple of pages. Is it because of the free version? I wonder.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2009
I've read at least one other translation of this work and the Samuel B. Griffith translation is much preferred. By comparison his language is elegant, almost bordering on poetry compared to the dry prose of another writer's newer translation. Yet, the content is clear, never being compromised in favor of style.

There are almost 300 reviews of this text, so there's no need to repeat what's already been said. If you're looking to own a copy of this classic I'd strongly recommend not just this book, but this particular translation as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2000
First published in 1963, this translation from General Samuel Griffith is considered the finest rendering of Sun Tzu since 1910. It has commentaries within the text itself; good history and much analysis. In fact, a lot of analyses. Excellent and unique section on Sun Tzu's influence in Japan. Just that section alone is worth acquiring the book. It has a superb rendering of Sun Tzu in which we can find few faults. A must have book on your shelf if you are interested in Sun Tzu and strategy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 4, 2008
This ancient classic of 13 chapters was written over 2,500 years ago by the legendary Chinese general Sun Tzu. It is a must have for military buffs that enjoy reading about the tactics of the most succesful generals. It is rumored that Napoleon used a French translation of the Art of War to his advantage while conquering most of Europe, and he lost when he broke its principles.
The principles that are with in this ancient text can also be used in games of strategy, business conflicts, and the day to day battles of life.
Here are ten principles to give you a sample of the wisdom found in its pages:

Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance with out fighting.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

Spies are the most important element in war, because upon them depends an army's ability to move.

All warfare is based on deception.

The general who wins a battle makes many calculations before the battle is fought.

There is no instance of a country having benefited from a prolonged war.

The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals.

In war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.

When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. (So they can retreat).

Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained, fight not unless the position is critical.

Taken as a whole this is a book of wisdom and principles on how to win. I rank it in my top ten books I have ever read. It is a must have for any home library. The is a very small book that is quick and easy to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself."

The Art of War is the most prestigious and influential book on strategy that has ever been written. Sun Tzu showed how organizations can thrive in times of conflict and chaos by mastering five things: the way, the weather, the terrain, the leadership, and the discipline.

Strategy is simply the art of making the right trade-offs. Everything we do in life has a cost-benefit. We must examine our choices and make the best one at each moment.

Success is being the right person using the right tools in the right ways for the right cases at the right times for the right reasons.

When I was 12, I wanted to enter West Point to become a general to lead and fight the greatest wars of my time. Yet, I began to realize that the biggest battles of this era were not between nations and man, but between health and disease.

The world was crumbling with pollution, disease, hunger, fear, greed, violence, ignorance, and apathy. And these enemies would not be won by wars between men, but by revolutions within minds.

These revolutions will not occur with the government, the education, or any social institutions. It will happen with businesses.

This is the book that first connected me to my father. He told me that, "business is like modern day warfare."

That always stuck with me.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2000
As the subject implies, this work is certainly a work of art. Although James Clavell in no way can take credit for this book he has done a great work puting this edition together. This is not only shown in the translation, but also in the foreword as well as in the numerous short interludes that describe events in the Chinese history - events that was either descided upon by the use of Sun Tzu's words, or events that makes a point.
During the XIII chapters you are guided trough all aspects of desicion making in a very poetic but also very precise manner. This will give you a large part of the knowledge you will ever need when commanding your own army. However, this is where the great gets better - take this knowledge and use it in every day life. Wheter you are an admiral or a car salesman you will be able to draw conclusions from this work in a wide number of ways. So do not miss out on this book, this work of art, this book of war - this manual to life itself.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2000
The theories presented by Sun Tzu in this book have just as much weight today as they did 2,000 years ago. The text is pretty short, and is extremely easy to read and understand considering it is in list form. The book is required reading at service academies and is on reading lists for U.S. military officers. Even Napolean studied this book. Chapters: Estimates, Waging War, Offensive Strategy, Dispositions, Energy, Weaknesses and Strengths, Maneuver, The Nine Variables, Marches, Terrain, The Nine Varieties of Ground, Attack by Fire, and Employment of Secret Agents. Also included in this version is Wu Ch'I's "Art of War"
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2002
This is good read for anyone in a competitive market (which pretty much encompasses the world). The ancient warrior Sun Tzu explains the "Art of War"; how to read the minds of your enemies and out guess them, how to strike fear into the hearts and minds of others, how to put yourself into a position to win a decisive battle, and the list goes on.
Don't be fooled by the title. This book is not just about wars fought on the battlefield. Inside are comparsions of fights that are fought everyday by hard working people and how to win them. A good read for all on how to protect yourself and attack others.
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