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15 of 15 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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of Kindle edition!
There are no annotations and there is no introduction in the ebook version of this book which means it looses all of the appeal of the print edition. Total waste of momey and space.
Published 6 months ago by Dr. Gerd Folberth


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15 of 15 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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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
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of: The Art of War [Translation by Samuel Griffith], 17 May 2011
By 
N. Jinks (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Review of: The Art of War: The New Illustrated Edition of the Classic Text. Translated by Samuel B. Griffith

This is a beautiful, extremely well written edition of a classic work. The hardback cover feels solid in hand and the pages are equally tough. The book itself contains a huge number of notes, annotations and clarifications from a variety of sources [located on the page in question so you don't have to constantly flick back and forth]. The illustrations are provoking and appropriate for the chapter.

If you are looking for an edition which has high quality textual content and exceptional presentation, then purchase this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited", 10 Dec 2011
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
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Ah, the wisdom of the ancients! Latter-day politicians: please read this book, and learn.

Sun Tzu's eternally relevant Chinese classic `The Art of War' has never been subject to modern-day copyright. Due to the popularity of the text demand is always strong, and the would-be buyer is confronted with literally dozens of different editions culled from various translations of the original Chinese script, with or without the voluminous commentaries.

Sam Griffiths' stylish new illustrated edition of `The Art of War' is a bit special. The book itself is a fine artefact in its own right with a stiff hardcover bound in red silk, 270 thick and high-quality pages with clear text and most with colour plates of classical Chinese illustrations. It's a rewarding experience just to hold, and to turn these beautiful pages.

The translation, together with the textual commentaries, is a substantially revised version of Griffiths' 1960 PhD thesis submitted to Oxford University, so the academic standard is rigorous.

As a run-in to the actual text material the reader is treated to 89 pages of commentaries on Sun Tzu's life and character; history of the text; contextual descriptions of the contemporary warring states in Sun Tzu's time, and the use made by Mao Tse-Tung of the classical text in his successful military campaigns in China and the 1930s and 40s.

The text and commentaries are then beautifully laid out chapter by chapter and very easy to follow. An integral page-marker is thoughtfully provided by the publisher. There is a good index and brief biographies of most of the classical Chinese commentators quoted in the book.

The only caution about this edition might be that its weighty, quality feel is more a `home library' book. It's not really an appropriate edition to read on the move, whilst travelling for example. There are plenty of lightweight paperback editions - or Kindle, of course - more portable and suitable to such an environment, if that's how you do much of your reading. Otherwise, this edition can be unconditionally recommended: it's a very fine book indeed, and something of a bargain at the current price.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this classic, 20 Jan 2002
This review is from: The Art of War (Paperback)
Buy this classic and find out what all the fuss is about. This edition has lots of historical context - very interesting in itself. The actual text is quite short but with commentary which includes examples of how Sun Tzu's ideas were used by his near contemporaries.
Not as directly applicable as modern management texts if you're a Gordon Gecko perhaps, but the philosophy and thinkings are there for you to apply yourself to any situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of Kindle edition!, 1 Oct 2013
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There are no annotations and there is no introduction in the ebook version of this book which means it looses all of the appeal of the print edition. Total waste of momey and space.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book, 2 May 2013
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This review is from: The Art of War (Paperback)
probably the best abridged version very pleased. I don't think I could get through the original 13 volumes in Chinese.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Common Sense of War, 1 Oct 2009
By 
gingerale (Helsinki, Finland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Art of War (Paperback)
Wonderful book to just read in parts. All Sun's lines are nicely and shortly explained and analyzed too. I recommend to anyone interested in strategy and philosophy.
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1 of 1 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 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
     
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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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A rather poor translation of The Art of War., 17 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art of War (Paperback)
As a lifetime student of the Chinese classics, I am very well aware that Sun Tzu's teachings are both profound and practical. Unfortunately, this translation is of very little help to the reader in understanding how to effectively utilize the art of strategy. Moreover, the book has some critical mis-translations which are likely to confuse the reader and lead him astray.
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