- Series: Everyman's Library
- Hardcover: 312 pages
- Publisher: Everyman's Library (March 13, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1101908009
- ISBN-13: 978-1101908006
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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 mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
The Art of War (Everyman's Library) Hardcover – March 13, 2018
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Like Thucydides, [Sun Tzu] has a reputation today at least as great as it was well over two millennia ago . . . Given the peculiarly personal acumen and insight that inform Sun Tzu’s brief, sometimes enigmatic, but always practical Art of War . . . we are surely reading the words of an acutely intelligent military man with a subtle, original mind and a wealth of experience all his own.”
—from the Introduction by Peter Harris
About the Author
SUN TZU was a Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in China in the 6th century BC. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, a widely influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and Eastern philosophy. Sun Tzu is revered in China as a legendary historical figure. His birth name was Sun Wu; the name Sun Tzu by which he is best known is an honorific that means "Master Sun."
PETER HARRIS a specialist in the political and cultural history of China. He is the founding Director of the Asian Studies Institute at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, and a Visiting Professor at Nanjing University, China. He has written, edited and translated numerous books on China and Asia. Other volumes he edited for Everyman's Library include The Travels of Marco Polo, Zen Poems, and Three Hundred Tang Poems.
Showing 1-6 of 14 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The book, as with all Everyman's Classics, features great front matter. As with all such books, you get a list of recommended reading materials and a Chronology. You also get a list of ancient Chinese dynasties. There is an introduction by the book's translator and a foreword by US General David H. Petraeus, whose name will be familiar to anyone who has followed the news the past decade. The Eleven Traditional Commentaries is included at the back and there are a number of notes by the translator to ease the understanding of the text. All in all, this is one of the best editions of the work that I have seen, equaled only by the Oxford University Press edition, which previously was the sole first rate non-business edition.
This edition is part of a somewhat new tradition on the part of Everyman's Library. For a long time Everyman's primarily reprinted translations that were either in the public domain or whose copyright was held by Random House. This meant that most translations came from the nineteenth century. More recently, however, Everyman's has been doing original translations with all original front matter and back matter. As a result, their volumes have begun to take on a degree of scholarly relevance that they didn't previously possess. This tremendously enhances the value of a line of publications that has already been among my favorites. Let me put it bluntly: if Everyman's publishes an edition of a book, that is almost always the edition I would prefer to read. For example, while there are annotated editions of Jane Austen that I prefer to read if I'm trying to glean every possible bit of meaning from the text, if I just want to enjoy PRIDE AND PREJUDICE as a narrative, as a text, then you can't beat Everyman's Library. There is definitely no series of books that are more pleasant to read. The paper is gorgeous: a rich, heavy stock paper that is yellow and does not reflect light, which makes reading easy on the eye. And I love the cloth used to wrap each cover, pale olive green in this case, with a lovely dustjacket with a representation of Sun Tzu on the front. Just very close to the perfect book. I also own a lot of Library of America volumes and I never like reading those volumes like I enjoy reading an Everyman's Library.
In short, there are, in my opinion two editions of Sun Tzu worth owning, this one and the edition by Oxford. But I think that this one might get the nod, given that it is more recent, more attractive, and better produced.
This text has a brand-new easily accessible translation. The style of the English is pity, which matches the feel of a Chinese proverb. For the most part I like the style of the translation very much, but there are a few passages in which I like the Oxford edition's wording a little better (The Art of War). Maybe it's not that I like the Oxford edition better, but perhaps the wording offers different imagery. For example, what the Everyman's Library calls "obstructive terrain" the Oxford edition calls "entrapping terrain." I couldn't tell you which one is closer to the original Chinese. It's helpful to keep a couple of different translations handy, and I think this one makes a nice contribution.
You should know that the text is printed twice. In the first half of the book, "The Art of War" is printed alone, then the author prints the same text again, but interlaces it with observations of the most famous of Sun Tzu's commentators. It's easy to distinguish between text and commentary because they're in different fonts. It's a nice feature that gives more color to Chinese military history.
Besides the nice features of the text, the book itself is a handsome edition. It's clothbound with an attractive dust jacket. It also has a bookmark ribbon. The typeface is easy to read, and the cream-colored paper feels good in the hands. I expect the sewn binding will hold up well under multiple reads.
The organization of this classic is exemplary. After a foreword by David Petraeus, preliminary material includes an introduction by the translator and editor, which makes a strong case for the volume's continued utility, an annotated bibliography which introduces more than two dozen editions and analyses of The Art of War, a chronology of Sun Tzu's life which includes historical and cultural touchpoints, and a list of Chinese dynasties.
The body of the book is eminently worthwhile. First there is a clean and unannotated text of the book's thirteen chapters and then, wonderfully, utilizing a format that has been used before, there is a line-by-line interpretation by several of eleven historic commentators, including Cao Cao, the earliest (around 200 CE) and a general himself; Du Mu, scholar and poet (around 850 CE); He Yanxi, a historian (around 1000 CE); and Zhang Yu, who presented a notably clarifying analysis in the 12th century.
The book concludes with a good index.
The foreword in this edition in itself is worth the book. General Petraeus' comments on the classic text and pithy reflections is very informative.