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The Art Of War
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91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
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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227 of 250 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2008
The translation is clumsy and needs improvement. Copy editing is sloppy. Numerous typos, misspellings, punctuation, and format errors. Serves as a cheap option, but would not recommend it for anyone seeking a quality copy to add to their collection or library.
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216 of 240 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2008
This edition was published by Filiquarian Publishers and from a publishing perspective, this book appears to have been designed in a basic Word processing program. Shoddy, shoddy, work. Lacks creative design, weak choice of fonts, inconsistent spacing, erroneous punctuation symbols, etc. Additionally, one of the chapters was out of order. I'm speculating that the publisher didn't know how to read roman numerals and therefore placed the chapter incorrectly, and if they did, and there was a purpose for this, it should have been addressed in the non-existent introduction. The content of the book is fine, just buy an edition by a an established publisher rather than someone working from their basement.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2009
WHAT A RIP OFF!!!!!! they should call it spark notes on the art of war.
this is not the book written by sun zu! It is only someones notes on the art of war.
If you want to read the art of war this is not the book you want to get.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2009
This book unfortunately seems to have been published before it was ready, as other reviewers also note.

The elementary error on the Table of Contents page (with Chapter IX [9] appearing between Chapter IV [4] and Chapter V [5]) suggests no professional proofreader or editor involved. The other spelling, grammatical, and content errors that appear in the text suggest that the material is a largely unchanged Project Gutenberg text file: [...]

All in all, the publisher should really release a second edition that fixes the myriad easy to find errors. Particularly since this book is obviously selling well and the publisher ought therefore have the funds with which to do so.

In the meantime, a comparable edition at the same price (but properly proofread and corrected) is the Pax Librorum edition: The Art of War which is fully downloadable/previewable via a PDF eBook at the publisher's website. Or just about any other one from more well-known and established publishers.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 29, 2007
Basic and Brilliant. About 70 pages. Small and thin. Took me less than 20-25 minutes to fully read. Has different strategies, laying plans, maneuvering, attack...Contains everything one could need to know about the 'Art of War'. Though I ended up finding the whole thing online but if you want the book then here it is, cheap.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
If you know anything about the Art of War it's from quotations taken out of context that seem to say something and seem to be profound. The idea is that actual war is a metaphor for the conflicts that one encounters in life and that the advice and tactics are just as applicable.

Not really.

This is a book about medieval Chinese warfare and by and large most of it is about precisely that, maybe ninety five percent. If you want to find out how to get good at business, read a business book. And if you want to get good at life, maybe get a self-help book. If you are mostly interested in the history of the era, this is it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2007
A great book, adapted and translated directly from the initial writing itself. As a result, the text gets right to the point. No fluff, filler, or individual interpretation; just the meat and potatoes, the way this type of book should be. Substitute: tanks for "chariots" and guns for "spears" and the book is easily adaptable in todays modern world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2010
I may have ordered the wrong version of this book because it was not at all what I expected.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2010
Simply put, this book contains a great deal of useful wisdom. This information is presented in short sentences and statements, so do not expect lengthy dialogue and is most likely a cliff note version of the original but still worth a few dollars. Some of it is obvious and commonsensical whereas other points may be obscure or not obvious to the reader. Regardless, for those who have interest in warfare and strategy it is worth reading.
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