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The Art of War (Chiron Academic Press - The Original Authoritative Edition) Kindle Edition
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Having said that, I like this Kindle product very much. I have a regular hard copy of this book and felt it was slightly opaque. The Kindle product has a lot of extra explanations. It is a harder read, but really helped me understand the work.
I have read this book twice. I am not a military commander. Therefore I have not committed myself to completely mastering this text, and I have have not done so. I had secretly wondered if it was just me, did everyone else get this and it was only I that struggled with it.
Then I encountered a fairly high ranking executive who had this book prominently displayed behind him on a bookshelf as he sat at his desk. I could not help but wonder who he was trying to impress or maybe cow. In any event I told him that I had read that book twice and began to discuss It's precepts with him. Without getting too detailed, suffice to say, it is not just me that has not mastered this text. Thank You...
The subject of Sun Tzu can be rather nebulous. Some historians find that there's sources that mention Sun Tzu in context of some event and then there are other historical sources that mention him in the same context as not being there. There is some speculation about his existence. There is also speculation about his role in Chinese society. It is widely believed that he was a general and a noble.
This book is a translation of Sun Tzu's famous text yet it also proffers a historical background and commentaries on what Sun Tzu wrote. The commentaries themselves are rather informative and help to give the reader clarity and background. However, sometimes they are placed right in the middle of the quote which makes it difficult to get the whole gist of the quote unless you go back and reread what you just read.
The original work as noted earlier consists of thirteen chapters which tell about almost every aspect of military planning, execution and post victory. The first three chapter talk about planning a siege, attacking by stratagem and waging war. The next 4 chapters discuss tactical design, energy, finding the enemies weak points and maneuvers. Finally there is variations of tactics, marching the army , terrains, nine situations and the use of fire and spies.
For the master strategist or someone aspiring to be this book will have several nuggets of wisdom. The importance of knowing yourself and your enemy are vital to your success. Variate your tactics and keep your enemy confused never let the enemy figure you out. Keep them guessing as to your actual plans and intention. Not only should your enemy be in the dark but so should your subordinates. There is plenty of people nformation about how to treat the troops and more.
There are simple, straightforward accounts of a General in charge of defending his country. And in so doing prepare his troops also to do their part, both physically and emotive in winning their conflicts.
"THE ART OF WAR" has been handed down as it was presented by him. Except for the hundreds of varying translations to which this book has been subject to; it retains it's fidelity to the original Chinese scrolls. It has been adopted into many contemporary business training in the spirit of Sun's strategy for training modern dealers in the cut&thrust nature of modern business. Sun is still quoted in modern business language in a universal frame of business dealings, sometimes conciously, other times not so consciously.