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The Art of War [Paperback]

Sun Tzu , B. H. Liddell Hart , Samuel B. Griffith
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

15 Sep 1971
Like Machiavelli's The Prince and the Japanese Book of Five Rings, Sun Tzu's The Art of War is as timely for business people today as it was for military strategists in ancient China. Written in China more than 2,000 years ago, Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War is the first known study of the planning and conduct of military operations. These terse, aphoristic essays are unsurpassed in comprehensiveness and depth of understanding, examining not only battlefield maneuvers, but also relevant economic, political, and psychological factors. Indeed, the precepts outlined by Sun Tzu regularly applied outside the realm of military theory. It is read avidly by Japanese businessmen and was touted in the movie Wall Street as the corporate raider's bible. Providing a much-needed translation of this classic, Samuel Griffith has made this powerful and unique work even more relevant to the modern world. Including an explanatory introduction and selected commentaries on the work, this edition makes Sun Tzu's timeless classic perfectly accessible to modern readers.

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The Art of War + The Prince (Prohyptikon Value Classics) + The Book of Five Rings: A Classic Text on the Japanese Way of the Sword (incl. "The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War")
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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA; New Ed edition (15 Sep 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780195014761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195014761
  • ASIN: 0195014766
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The Art of War is among the greatest classics of military literature ever written. Sun Tzu warfare is as applicable today as when the book was written some 2,500 years ago....Pick up The Art of War and read it."--General A.M. Gray, Marine Corps Gazette"As a reflection of the Chinese mind, this little work is as relevant as any Confucian classic."--The Times (London)"Westerners have dozens of books to choose from if they want to learn about Japanese philosophy and military tactics....But when the Japanese, especially those in business, want information on the subject, many turn to an ancient Chinese, not Japanese, military manual, The Art of War....Shows managers how to be fearless in resolving conflicts."--Boardroom Reports"Shows managers how to be fearless in resolving conflicts."--Boardroom Reports"A brief tract on strategy that has been admired in China for centuries. Some of Mao Tse Tung's most eloquent thoughts are merely rehashes of Sun Tzu and his interpreters."--The Los Angeles Herald Examiner"Samuel Griffith's original and scholarly translation of The Art of War shows how good scholarship can make an easily readable translation that is much more useful to modern readers."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Author

The late Samuel B. Griffith is the author of The Battle for Guadalcanal and the editor and translator of Mao Tse-tung: "On Guerilla War".

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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
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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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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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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