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The Art of War: Translation, Essays, and Commentary by the Denma Translation Group Paperback – June 9, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; Reprint edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590307283
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590307281
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #772,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Art of War was written over 2,300 years ago in what is now North China. Yet it still remains a contemporary lesson on how to attain victory without going to battle. Modern-day warriors find its ancient strategies helpful regardless of whether the conflict dwells in the boardroom or the bedroom. Despite numerous references to enemies, generals, and armies, The Art of War is about nonaggression. At its core, The Art of War offers a sophisticated lesson on "taking whole," meaning staying openhearted and relaxed in order to sidestep a fight--whether you are a field commander, a CEO, or a frustrated mother putting a resistant son to bed. This particular translation comes from the Denma Translation Group, led by scholars Kidder Smith and James Gimian (publisher of Shambhala Sun magazine). Because of the text's obscure wording (even the Chinese find the original document cumbersome), the translators have inserted helpful commentary that removes some of the linguistic barriers. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This striking gift package contains a wealth of materials: a paperback edition of Sun Tzu's classic "Art of War"; 50 two-color cards with a quote from Sun Tzu on one side and a brief commentary on the other; a stand for readers to hold each card as they meditate on its meaning; and a pamphlet describing how to use the cards for personal growth. "Though the 'Art of War' was originally written for the military, it applies to all aspects of our lives," write the editors, who stress the modern relevance of this 2,300-year-old text for learning how to manage conflict without aggression. The quotation cards are particularly helpful for applying Sun Tzu's teachings to broad situations, and for helping readers imagine themselves as "the sage commander." In addition to a full translation of Sun Tzu's classic, the book also offers three essays on its interpretation. This is an ideal gift for those who might be interested in Eastern approaches to conflict resolution.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

A timely and lucid translation of this classic text.
Robert Elder
The translation sections are great to read in short bits letting their wisdom take seed and flower at odd times like while driving or in the shower.
Susan Burggraf
Needless to say, we at Sonshi.com highly recommend this book.
Sonshi.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Sonshi.com on May 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A new standard has been set. The Denma Translation Group's Sun Tzu rendering shows extraordinary accuracy; as stated in the book, they "argued over every word." We are quite impressed to see very little paraphrasing as well. And though this emphasis does sometimes break up the reading flow, the group did an admirable job minimizing its overall effects.
In addition to the translation, this book has the finest essays analyzing the many Art of War concepts. Not stopping there, the authors then skillfully explained each and every passage of Sun Tzu. The group's work was recently published in January 2001, but it took them a decade to complete. Wow. Based on Wu Chiu-lung's authoritative Sun Tzu deciphered from bamboo strips (dated 140 - 118 B.C.) found in 1972. Needless to say, we at Sonshi.com highly recommend this book.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer X on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a student in International Diplomacy I must have read the Art of War in every phase of my education since being an undergraduate. Most books are simply the translation of the book, but no real explanation to go along with the text. Some give some side notes or a long introduction, but the text itself can be difficult and little or no help is given.
This is not the case with this edition, and that is why it is head and shoulders above all others I have looked at. It begins with a lengthy introduction to acquaint readers to the book and give some very necessary background information. Next is the full translation, GREATLY helped by the recently discovered bamboo remains of the book dug up in China, and there is no commentary in this section of the book. Which is excellent for people well acquainted with the work, people who want to read the work without the running commentary, students and scholars. Next are three sections designed to help the read fully understand the text in which they have just read. Not just the ideas about war, but it's applications in many other walks of life. These chapters explain difficult Chinese concepts, the idea of a sage leader, and many, many, other relevant topics.
Lastly, is the commentary. This is where the entire work is reviewed and detailed notes are given to help the reader understand the text LINE BY LINE!! It is not judgmental, while there is a slight bias, it is mostly informative. The bias does not distract from the educational part of the information, but it does need to be pointed out. I will not go into greater detail, the reader can extrapolate from the commentary if they feel there is a slight tinge of bias.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Melvin MacDonald on April 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This new translation of The Art of War offers a deeper view of victory--the "taking of the whole." It's the ultimate win-win strategy. How would a group of Buddhists, devoted to the principles of non-aggression and non-ego, approach conflict and warfare? By seeking victory over war itself! If conflict is inevitable in this world, let us seek its resolution with the least possible suffering. This is a unique book for readers who seek to apply profound strategic thought to helping the world, rather than conquering others.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gaius Nymphidius Vitellius on January 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I always enjoy a good philosophy book, and this version of the Ping-fa (Art of War) hit home for me. Although a bit different from the commonly accepted Samuel Griffith 1963 version in the sense the words are translated more literally from the original chinese, it's still not that hard to read.
Not only that, but the essays do well to reinforce some of Sun Tzu's more important ideologies (i.e. Shih).
This version was well done and still honest to the Chinese version, so that's a plus in my eye.
I'd advise the reader, should you want to really grasp the book's key concepts, that you read the essays in Section 2 before the text itself, as it makes more sense in that order.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Susan Burggraf on August 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is like knowing a wise elder who has seen it all and can give you all the relationship wisdom you'll ever need if you have the patience to listen. In reading and rereading slowly, its wealth of insights and pith instructions have gradually begun to take seed in my awareness. The result is an expansion of what I'm willing to consider and include in the mix when I approach a problem. This is what the authors call "taking whole" and it surprisingly leads to greater relaxation and even enjoyment in the face of potential conflict. How does this relate to war (something I have no interest in, by the way)? It truly allows "victory over war" itself because when I am in conflict with you, I include your interests along with mine and so we're both on the same side!
My favorite part of the book is the essays which are so insightful that I plan to use them in the psychology courses I teach. The translation sections are great to read in short bits letting their wisdom take seed and flower at odd times like while driving or in the shower. For that reason, this is a book worth owning. I've given a few copies as gifts to people who balked at the title (because they're like me and can't imagine being interested in war) and then fell in love with the wisdom and the great opening it creates in relationships.
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