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The Art of War: An Illustrated Edition [Paperback]

Sun Tzu , Thomas Cleary
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Nov 2004
Compiled more than two thousand years ago by a mysterious warrior-philosopher, The Art of War is still perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world today, as eagerly studied by modern politicians and executives as it has been by military leaders since ancient times. As a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict, The Art of War applies to competition and conflict in general, on every level from the interpersonal to the international. Its aim is invincibility, victory without battle, and unassailable strength through understanding of the physics, politics, and psychology of conflict.

This illustrated edition includes some of the finest works of art from China, Japan, and Korea, selected from museums, galleries, and private collections in countries throughout the world, deepening the reader's appreciation of the teachings of The Art of War.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications Inc; New edition edition (12 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590301854
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590301852
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 984,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
ACCORDING TO AN OLD STORY, a lord of ancient China once asked his physician, a member of a family of healers, which of them was the most skilled in the art. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great version of the classic 14 Dec 2010
By Tom
Format:Hardcover
I had been meaning to read Sun Tzu's Art of War for some time, seeing loose quotes from it appear in various places (mostly the Total War games).
When I started looking around to get the book, i was confronted with litteraly dozens of versions of the text reaching from plain text translations to "self-help motivational" versions that have barely anything to do with the original text.

Based on reader's feedback here and across the internet I learned that this version of the text was exactly what i was looking for: a good translation of the original text (better than Giles' translation I'm told), but also a historical background of the work, comments from Chinese commentators and generals and footnotes by the translator himself. A lot more information that helps you better understand the whole thing, much more than a simple print out of the text would.

Besides the textual content, this is also a beautiful hardcover book with great illustrations of Chinese art or objects throughout.

All in all this seemed like a much more complete book than the ones that are on top in the Amazon charts.
If you are looking for a version of Sun Tzu's famous book, "The Art of War: The New Illustrated Edition of the Classic Text" is definitely recommended. It costs a bit more than the paperbacks topping the military science charts on this site, but it is worth it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENCE OF SUN TZU - THE ART OF WAR 31 Oct 2002
By uhe04
Format:Paperback
The art of war by Sun Tzu really is a book of excellence. This book forewarded by B.H. Liddell Hart really helps you to unterstand the chapters written by Sun Tzu, the well structured introduction gives examples of the chapters in action. Also, the comments of other legends given in the chapters are helpful, in that it gives a deep understanding of the words of Sun Tzu. The book is inspiring, the wise words of Sun Tzu implies to everyday situations, in that it enforces logical thinking of methods of solving everyday problems. This book is definatly one for purchase, to sharpen up your mind, or "sharpen your blades" as Sun Tzu states.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I very much enjoyed Sun Tzu's timeless pearls of wisdom though I wouldn't agree that they are a panacea for all the ills of business and/or personal life. However, I was more disappointed with Cleary's editorial commentary of the translated text. I often found him simply reiterating the text, albeit in a more verbose and gramatically correct form. He seemed to presume ignorance on the part of the reader. Less Cleary more Sun Tzu.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic must have book 18 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
There are countless interpretations of Sun Tzu's classic treatise The Art of War. I've read several of these ranging from weighty scholarly treatments to lighter volumes of easier to digest materials. Of all of these, however, I chose this version as my favorite. Clavell has made Sun Tzu's message succinct and meaningful to anyone who might pick up this book. Lessons are applicable in the board room, on the golf course, and anywhere real-life rears its head. This work is usable by anyone in almost any strata of world society.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but there are better translations 1 May 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I agree with fellow reviewers that this is a
classic for any situation or need... However,
given Cleary's history of mistranslations (such
as The Book of the Five Rings) I believe that
a translation from a modern author of Chinese origin (maybe even another westerner- but I doubt it) who is fluent in both English and Chinese would fare better with readers. (I've seen one - unfortunately I forgot the author's name)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A short treatise on war 30 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
More of a pamphlet than a book but a worthwhile purchase if you intend to invade a neighbouring country. A classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Interpretation 13 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Following the text well, this book is easy to follow, and is broken down into manageable "chunks" making reading easier
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relatively clear readable translation- Kindle 2 April 2011
By Julie Cutler TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm sampling all the Kindle versions of the Art of War to pick a readable translation.
This is Lionel Giles' 1910 version without the rather heavy original footnotes. It's actually in quite readable English for the date, and seems reasonably understandable in 21st century English. I've no idea on the accuracy of the translation.

Opening line: "Sun Tzu said: the art of war is of vital importance to the State.
It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected."
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