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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great version of the classic
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...
Published on 14 Dec. 2010 by Tom

versus
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Timeless wisdom spoiled by lack lustre editorial commentary
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...
Published on 6 Feb. 2001


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great version of the classic, 14 Dec. 2010
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Strategy Guide, 20 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Art of War (Kindle Edition)
This is a decent version of a classic text. It's well laid out with a table of contents making it easy to dip in and out.

The ideas and strategies are individually explained in a couple of sentences, prompting the reader to muse over the ideas and gain a deeper understanding of the concepts.

Originally written over a thousand years ago, the timeless wisdom contained in this gem by Sun Tzu, has been utilised by many military and business men/women for profitable advantage.

This Kindle version of, "The Art of War," contains reliable insights and strategies that you can put to practical use in your daily life, in an easily digested, readable format.

Colin G Smith, author of, Difficult People: Dealing With Difficult People At Work (Quick Start Guide)
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENCE OF SUN TZU - THE ART OF WAR, 31 Oct. 2002
This review is from: The Art of War (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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but there are better translations, 1 May 1997
By A Customer
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 Definitive Translation with Superb Illustrations, 21 Feb. 2006
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
     
I do not recall the first time I read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War but it must have been at least 35 years ago. Frankly, during that first reading, I saw no relevance of any of his various strategies to the business world. Nor did I have any interest whatsoever in a military career. What fascinated me then were Sun Tzu insights concerning the importance of deception: when small, seem great...and vice versa; when far away, seem near...and vice versa; when exhausted, seem robust...and vice versa. Etc. Of course, I failed to realize at that time that the Viet Cong, for example, effectively used many of the same strategies based on deception to defeat superior French and then US forces in what was then Indo-China. In fact, throughout preceding military history, there are countless other examples of warfare during which numerically inferior forces prevailed by exploiting advantages created by stealth, speed, hit-and-run attacks, etc.
What we have in this volume is Samuel B. Griffith’s superb translation of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, accompanied by elegant illustrations and supplemented by informative background material which includes biographies of Sun Tzu (in Griffith’s preface) and various commentators (in Appendix II). Also, and equally important, background information which establishes a frame-of-reference within which to gain a better understanding of the age during which Sun Tzu lived. I also appreciate the reader-friendly lay-out which juxtaposes primary text with pleasing illustrations and complementary sources.
As I recently read The Illustrated Art of War, I was again reminded of statistics which Michael Gerber provides in E-Myth Mastery: "Of the 1 million U.S. small businesses started this year [2005], more than 80% of them will be out of business within 5 years and 96% will have closed their doors before their 10th birthday." These are indeed chilling statistics. I wonder how many small companies which fail could have survived, if not prospered, had their owners/CEOs read and then effectively applied the strategies which Sun Tzu recommends.
Most (if not all) of those strategies are also relevant to much larger organizations. Consider what Jack Welch once said during one of GE’s annual meetings when explaining why he admires small companies: "For one, they communicate better. Without the din and prattle of bureaucracy, people listen as well as talk; and since there are fewer of them they generally know and understand each other. Second, small companies move faster. They know the penalties for hesitation in the marketplace. Third, in small companies, with fewer layers and less camouflage, the leaders show up very clearly on the screen. Their performance and its impact are clear to everyone. And, finally, smaller companies waste less. They spend less time in endless reviews and approvals and politics and paper drills. They have fewer people; therefore they can only do the important things. Their people are free to direct their energy and attention toward the marketplace rather than fighting bureaucracy." Of course, there are other editions of The Art of War (including one also featuring the Griffith translation) but I prefer this one for reasons previously indicated.
In recent years, there has been a number of excellent books which also examine many of the same strategies within a business context, notably Paul Flowers’ Underdog Advertising, Jason Jennings’ Less Is More and Think Big, Act Small as well as Robert Tomasko's Bigger Isn't Always Better: The New Mindset for Real Business Growth, Bo Burlingham’s Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, Gerald Michaelson’s Sun Tzu: The Art of War For Managers, and Mark McNeilly’s Sun Tzu and the Art of Business.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle review- a reasonably clear modern sounding translation, 2 April 2011
By 
Recycled Rabbit (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Art Of War (Kindle Edition)
I'm sampling all the Kindle versions of the Art of War to pick a readable translation.
Like buses that all seem to come at once, this is YET ANOTHER version of the Lionel Giles' 1910 version without the rather heavy original footnotes or the mildly useful Giles introduction. It's actually in quite readable English for the date, and seems reasonably understandable in the 21st century. I've no idea on the accuracy of the translation.

Opening line from other Giles versions: "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."

Prices vary considerably but the words stay the same.

Update: after clattering through all the Kindle samples, this is the one I chose, because it's the cheapest, AND I can always read the original introduction by getting a sample download from another version. Simples!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Timeless wisdom spoiled by lack lustre editorial commentary, 6 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic For All, 19 Dec. 2012
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Art of War (Kindle Edition)
You may be wondering why I have picked such a title for this review, and there is a very good reason for it. Written well over a thousand years ago Sun Tzu's tactical guide to war is still used and taught in military schools, and has found more applications over the centuries.

The tactics laid out here were used in historical battles fought in Asia and China but they were also used by Ninja's and intelligence services. Nowadays still used by the military and intelligence worlds they have found a place in business. Why this is so is firstly because it isn't long to read, it isn't hard to read, and it is reliable information. If you use a bit of thought then you can apply the teachings of Sun Tzu in your life, as and when necessary. Of course although being short this does make you use your brain and think, and this in itself can make you come up with ideas how to apply the teachings here. This is a must read for those who study military tactics, and military history, as well as businessmen, and those who want to be one step ahead of the game. Ultimately this is the classic for all, and hopefully can help you in unforeseen ways, and in many situations.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Option, 20 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Art of War (Hardcover)
I am an enthusiast of historical figures, specifically, military figures and men of enlightenment. So, naturally, Sun Tzu's "The Art Of War" was a must read for me. With the original written in ancient chinese i found it surprisingly difficult to find a single english translation that was without a Thesis from the Author; I would personally like to read the book and make my own interpretations without being influenced by someone elses opinions at the end of each paragraph and would definetaly recommend this edition for any like minded people.

The only downside i would highlight is that much of the original script was not or could not be translated, and the result is 13 short chapters, readable in a day or two - although the amount of wisdom of warfare and life overall that is in this short book is astonishingly so, that i would recommend everyone read it at least once in their lifetime.

I hope this review has been helpful to those of you that are considering purchasing this book. Please rate kindly.
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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 
Recycled Rabbit (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art Of War (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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