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The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Special Edition Paperback – 21 Mar 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: El Paso Norte Press; Special edition (21 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976072696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976072690
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 759,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. Read the first page
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Sam Butler on 20 Dec 2005
Format: Paperback
Sun Tzu's "Art of War" is the first known treatise on how to wage war in a professional manner. This little book was written some 2,500 years ago and has been considered to be the seminal work on warfare by nearly every military expert in the world since it became known to Western Civilization.
Sun Tzu pointed out that war is a terrible thing which should be avoided, if at all possible, but, when unavoidable should be carried out so as to minimize the destruction. He was the first to advocate that war should not be undertaken for trivial reasons and that it should be conducted by professionals who know how to do it right - who understand that no one gains from unnecessary death and destruction.
The minute details of his advice are no more directly applicable to modern military circumstances; or to other areas such as business, advertising or sports; than are those from other classic masterpieces of literature from ancient times. The value of this little book is in the philosophy, reason and intelligence it displays and promotes, not in the specifics that were applicable 2,500 years ago.
Sun Tzu's view that those who do not understand the gravity of war, who do not understand the necessity of a clear purpose and for specific goals to be achieved by military action, who do not understand the importance of discipline and effective leadership, etc... will surely come to grief is as true today as it has been throughout the history of the world.
This is merely one of the greatest books that has ever been written. It is an appeal for reason and rational behavior, even when conducting something as inherently irrational as war. Its lessons are monumentally important even if they are occasionally misunderstood and misapplied by those of limited intelligence.
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Format: Paperback
I Brought this as a better way to understand how I might tackle the issue of running a small but difilcult business so far I have been able to put it to use in several ways including on my girlfriend
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 48 reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
A Great Classic 7 May 2005
By Jack Pellhan - Published on
Format: Paperback
Sun Tzu's great classic work has been read, re-read and appreciated in China and the East for about 2,500 years. Even today, major Japanese corporations are said to require their executives to be intimately familiar with "The Art of War" for its value as a source of strategy. Napoleon was said to have been influenced by this book - as was Karl von Clausewitz and most modern day military planners around the world.

For an ancient work to have had and still have such a following is ample evidence of its importance. Its current day applications range from military strategy to business philosophy to sales training to computer games. More important than the information contained in "The Art of War" is the logical mindset, the rational point of view that Sun Tzu presents, that contributes to the timelessness of the great book.

Of the numerous editions of "The Art of War" that are available, this Special Edition that contains the Chinese characters, an uncommented English translation, and the full Giles translation with an introduction and annotation is undoubtedly the pick of the litter. It has been said of the Giles translation that it is "somewhat dated". The same could be said of Sun Tzu's great classic itself. Yet it stands, unequaled.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Edition !!! 9 Dec 2006
By Lee Hall - Published on
Format: Paperback
This particular edition of Sun Tzu's Art of War is really excellent. It contains three separate copies of Sun Tzu's book:

1. The original Chinese text (in modern simplified Chinese characters),

2. A facing version of Lionel Giles' superb translation into English (without notes or comments) and

3. The complete Giles Translation with an extensive introduction and notes throughout the text that provides detailed insight into the meaning and intentions of the text.

Of all the versions of Sun Tzu's book on the market, this one is undoubtedly the best. The scholarship and detail to attention of this edition pays the respect and gives the credit to the great work that it deserves. Other, abbreviated, versions of Sun Tzu's book have their place, but not for those who actually want to understand the lessons of history that have been passed down through the centuries. The meaning of the text, after 25 centuries, requires the perspective of an oriental scholar with Giles' credentials. It is unlikely that the bare English translation, without notes or commentary, can convey to a modern reader the real meaning and intentions of a 2,000 year old Chinese genius.

Lionel Giles's translation is the gold standard for Sun Tzu. His deep understanding of ancient Chinese culture and his own roots in Western culture gave him a unique opportunity to bridge the gap and present native English speakers the opportunity to really understand and appreciate the mindset of this voice from antiquity.

This edition does NOT contain a CD. In spite of the masterful use of the English language by Lionel Giles, the Art of War is not poetry and probably doesn't benefit from oral recitation. This particular edition is THE BOOK for those whose native language is English... and who know how to read.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Foundation of Military Science 4 July 2006
By Bill Moore - Published on
Format: Paperback
Sun Tzu's "Art of War" is truly one of the great military classics of all time. Although it is over 2000 years old, virtually all modern military academies consider it to be a cornerstone of the Military Science curriculum. Sun Tzu's attitude toward war, as an expensive and unfortunate necessity that needs to be dealt with in a rational manner, is presented from the outset and it establishes the basis for his lessons.

His steps in logical progression through the essential elements: motivation, logistics, strategy, tactics and intelligence are, of course, dated. The most important element is the value of applying intelligent, rational consideration to develop the most effective course of action given the circumstances at hand.

The number of absolutely essential books on warfare can probably be counted on one hand. This one is number one.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
First-Rate Edition 4 July 2006
By Joe Taylor - Published on
Format: Paperback
The combination of the full Giles translation of Sun Tzu's famous treatise with a simple direct translation makes this edition really special. This particular edition has my highest recommendation. It fills several needs by providing the Chinese Text with a direct English translation together with the fully commented translation.

After you have read the full version with all of the comments and notes, you can really appreciate the rational simplicity of Sun Tzu's thirteen chapters. Without the background that the full translation provides, most of what Sun Tzu has to say can be easily misinterpreted and applied to all manner of activities. Having access immediate access to Giles' comments and notes, without having to be burdened by it when you just want to concentrate on what Sun Tzu had to say, makes this particular edition worth every penny.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Edition 9 Nov 2006
By Brian Klein - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Giles translation by itself is excellent, but by having an effective three versions in one (the original chinese, the translation without notes, and the translation with notes) this edition stands above the rest. Also, a historical section was a great addition.
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