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The Art of War: The Ancient Classic [Hardcover]

Sun Tzu , Tom Butler-Bowdon
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 April 2010
The original and bestselling leadership book! Sun Tzu′s ideas on survival and success have been read across the world for centuries. Today they can still be applied to business, politics and life. The Art of War demonstrates how to win without conflict. It shows that with enough intelligence and planning, it is possible to conquer with a minimum of force and little destruction. This luxury hardback edition includes an introduction by Tom Butler–Bowdon that draws out lessons for managers and business leaders, and highlights the power of Sun Tzu′s thinking in everyday life.

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The Art of War: The Ancient Classic + The Prince: The Original Classic (Capstone Classics) + The Wealth of Nations: The Economics Classic: A Selected Edition for the Contemporary Reader (Capstone Classics)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Capstone; Reprint edition (23 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857080091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857080097
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

The Art of War is an ancient Chinese classic that remains and international bestselling business and self–help manual to this day. With millions of copies sold worldwide in hundreds of translations, its central message of winning without conflict is as pertinent now as it was 2,500 years ago. This edition also includes bonus material, the translated Sayings of Wutzu.

From the Back Cover

Sun Tzu′s ideas on survival and success have been read across the world for centuries. Today they can still be applied to business, politics and life. The Art of War demonstrates how to win without conflict. It shows that with enough intelligence and planning, it is possible to conquer with a minimum of force and little destruction. This edition includes an introduction by Tom Butler–Bowdon that draws out lessons for managers and business leaders, and highlights the power of Sun Tzu′s thinking in everyday life.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Those who have read one of the volumes that comprise Tom Butler-Bowdon's "50 Classics" series already know that he possesses superior reasoning and writing skills as well as a relentless curiosity when conducting research on history's greatest thinkers and their major works. For these and other reasons, I cannot think of another person better qualified to provide the introductions to the volumes that comprise a new series, "Capstone Classics."

Unlike so many others, he provides more, much more than a flimsy "briefing" to the given work. For this volume, he poses and then responds to key questions such as these in order to create a context, a frame-of-reference, for Sun Tzu's insights:

o What exactly can the modern reader get from a manual for waging war that is probably about 2,500 years old?
o What Are the book's "spiritual underpinnings" in addition to its practical advice about planning and waging war?
o What was the historical context, the frame-of-reference, in which Sun Tzu lived and worked?
o To what extent does his classic, The Art of War, reflect that period?
o According to Sun Tzu, what are the meaning and significance of each of the "five indispensable matters" that inform (or at least should inform) a leader's decisions, including the one to do nothing, at least for now?
o According to Sun Tzu, what are the various degrees of successful warfare, with the most valued being able to "subdue the enemy without a fight," closely followed by "taking whole" the enemy's forces and other resources?
o What are the "five occasions when victory can be foretold"?

As indicated earlier, Tom Butler-Bowdon's purpose in this Introduction is to create a context, a frame-of-reference, for Sun Tzu's insights. He does so brilliantly in this instance and in each of the volumes in the "Capstone Classics series that have been published thus far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Art of war really does live up to it's fame. 28 April 2013
By smd
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is so much you can learn from this. Although primarily referenced to war, the way in which it's written is on philosophical terms rather than direct mechanisms, which make it applicable to many things in life.
In terms of the book itself by the author, apart from the introduction, it only comments on small things which may be confusing to the modern reader. The blue and down shown on the cover is only really a strap, which if you take off makes it just a black book with barely noticeable title. However this is what I love about this particular book. Everything is just so simple, and when searching for the right book to buy, my ideal choice was one where I could read through and attempt to understand with my own thoughts rather than have so many commentaries and notes covering each page, so this fits the bill for me.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By Stuart Moses VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I was drawn to this book by the promise of an introduction by Tom Butler-Bowdon. He's the author of a series of books which summarise and contextualise self improvement literature. Indeed, he has already discussed The Art of War in his second book 50 Success Classics: Winning Wisdom For Work & Life From 50 Landmark Books. Thankfully there is more to say on this subject.

Butler-Bowdon commentaries are always clear and concise. Indeed some people will find they don't need to read Sun Tzu's words once they have read the introduction. As the text of The Art of War is rather short, this book also contains The Sayings of Wu Tzu, a warrior who lived at the same time as Sun Tzu. This section gets a separate Butler-Bowdon introduction.

My favourite piece of advice from the introduction is that we should let The Art of War seep into our consciousness over several readings. This is not a book to read if you are looking for practical solutions to your problems. Even if you were in a combat situation I'm not sure how much use this book would be. Much of what Sun Tzu says is either common sense, or irrelevant to someone living in the modern world.

On the other hand The Art of War may prove useful if you use it as an inspiration for your own thinking. The layout of this book is calming and restful and the words themselves carefully considered. If you know that the answers to your dilemmas lie within you, this book may help you find them. Try reading some of Sun Tzu's words, then spend time mediating on them. See if they can cast light on your situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice book 7 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Actually quite neat book. I'm in the armed services my self as a squadleader, but a soon to be platooncommander. I can deffinitly see some of these tricks being applied in real-life situations, both on and off the battlefield.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I am a Warrior Now 1 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a must have in the library of people.
Great book, I will never ever be the same person.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sun Tzu is often heralded as the master of strategy, and it's easy to see why when reading "The Art of War". Although many of Tzu's statements seem simple and obvious at the time of reading, the message behind is more profound and one realises, that he has actually just put word into some feeling that you've felt but haven't been able to express. Amazing insight, and a must read for everyone wanting to take control of one's life - whether it is business or personal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars easy reader
I like this special edition it has a nice cover and it reads very easy
Published 14 days ago by Joshua Nichloson-Baum-Spidy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
FAB!*****
Published 23 days ago by Bex
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Everything was fine.
Published 24 days ago by Dameon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
arrived in good order and on time
Published 1 month ago by karen scotland
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good story
Published 2 months ago by k lawrence
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic?
All the reviews said 5 star classic but I found this book incredibly boring. There are much better books on the market for strategy and mind games. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. M. Annable
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only ever read one book, read this!
I had heard from others the value of this book therefore, with my curiosity aroused I sent for it. What a revelation! I now use it as a mantra on how to live.
Published 7 months ago by Houch
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars
got this for my boyfriend and he loves it. very simple design and it looks really good. came in great condition and arrived quickly. thank you
Published 7 months ago by holly
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Excellent book... One has to be in the correct frame of mind though to read this... Teaches how to avoid unnecessary conflict with self as well as with others.
Published 10 months ago by myablaize
2.0 out of 5 stars The Art of War is a classic but this edition is poor
I have the edition published by Capstone with an introduction by Tom Butler-Bowdon.

The Art of War is relatively short for a 219 page book. It takes up a mere 95 pages. Read more
Published 10 months ago by D. Gackbot
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