- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics (29 May 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140455523
- ISBN-13: 978-0140455526
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (749 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Art of War (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 29 May 2008
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"The strategic advice that [The Art of War] offers concerns much more than the conduct of war. It is an ancient book of proverbial wisdom, a book of life." (John Minford, from the Introduction)
"The strategic advice that [The Art of War] offers concerns much more than the conduct of war. It is an ancient book of proverbial wisdom, a book of life." John Minford, from the Introduction" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Little is known for definite about Sun Tzu [544-496 B.C.] and his life during the Warring States period after the decline of the Zhou dynasty, but his classic The Art of War has been one of the central works of Chinese literature for 2500 years.
John Minford has translated many books from Chinese, including Cao Xueqin's The Story of the Stone, and was co-editor of Seeds of Fire: Chinese Voices of Conscience and Chinese Classical Literature: An Anthology of Translations.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The growth in academic and business study of strategy has given this book hugely increased popularity over the last twenty years. However, strategic principles are often extracted and applied haphazardly, based on what the reader was looking for.
It is important to keep this book in its context. Some of the principles - such as 'to win without fighting is the highest achievement' are obviously of general applicability. Others, such as 'when plumes of dust are seen, chariots are approaching' are clearly of little relevance to modern business. However, when faced with 'in a forced march of 100 li the commander will fall', you may decide that there is a useful application or you may not.
Likewise, you may find it entertaining to quote Sun Tzu to your colleagues, and it may give a flavour of authority to your strategy proposals. If you do so, though, you ought to recognise that your application is your own interpretation, not something intrinsic to the text.
If you are reading this book because you want to learn about Chinese military history, or because you want to understand the way early strategists thought, I believe you will find it enjoyable and rewarding.
On the other hand, if you are using this book as a way of developing your own strategic skills, I would recommend that you read it in conjunction with Mintzberg, Ahlstrand and Lampel's 'Strategy Safari', and particularly note the critique of the Positioning school of strategy. The dangers are all too great of finding in Sun Tzu echoes of ideas that you already hold, and then imagining that these are supported by ancient authority.
This book by John Minford gives a concise and informative look at Master Wu's "Art of War" using the standard and accepted translation. It is not just a book about war but is a guide to life and this version gives explanations of the text from selected experts but firstly gives you the raw treatise allowing you to make up your own mind of the meaning. It is extremely informative without getting boring and gives you brief histories and background information integral to the treatise. Don't be put off at the thought of having to read difficult chinese names or words as a quick guide to correct pronunciation is included and will help in reading and understanding the informative introduction and histories. This book makes what may seem a daunting subject to some, a very easy to understand and enjoyable book.
This book will be of interest to both those looking for information on Chinese history but mainly to those looking for a guide to life. I, myself am not a historian and hated History lessons at school but the History subject matter in this book is interesting without over examination and doesn't have lengthy and irrelevant text. I'm also not much of a reader (more of a PS2 man) but found the book to be intriguing and hard to put down.
Interesting subject matter simply put, concisely explained with commentary from the leading experts and published by quality publishers Penguin. 2000 year old wisdom that is pertinent in modern life.
you hear of but never actually read. More's the pity. "The Art of War" is absolutely brilliant. It is concise, succinct, read-
able and extraordinarily relevant in not just war but also our
personal interactions. There is a wealth of pithy information,
well written, concerning war on or off the battlefield. There
are tips on ruthlessness, strategy, morale, tactics and camp-
aigning. It's all dealt with and it is a good "fun" read. Every
business person should own a copy! So should each half of a lov-
ing couple! I am delighted I bought it and heartily recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quick delivery. The book is now one of my favourites. Read it twice over now. I intend to gift it to my cousin. BrilliantPublished 1 day ago by chisomo Ng'ong'ola
Binding was not perfect. Also had some scratches on the front.Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting. Still relevant to modern warfare N. B. Blair & bush .simple but clear worth a read that's all
if you have interest in ancient china it is a must own, it gives great insight in to the period.Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer