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The Art of War by [Sun Tzu, Thomas Cleary]
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The Art of War Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 494 customer reviews

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Length: 244 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"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

Synopsis

All warfare is based on deception. Thus, when able to attack, we must seem unable. Hold out bait to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is quick to anger, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 560 KB
  • Print Length: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications (15 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SII6IS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 494 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #771,506 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback
As with Clausewitz's texts about war,this is one of those books
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.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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"The Art of War" is a classic. Sun Tzu was a master. This particular translation is frustratingly poor. It is nothing more than a public domain translation of Sun Tzu's writings. Many of the translations are awkward and riddled with typos and English grammatical errors. It reads as if it were translated by a Chinese university student with a good, but not perfect, command of the English language. There are no footnotes to explain the occassional untranslatable bits and there is no attempt whatsoever to put the work into its proper historical and cultural perspective. Not even a forward or introduction by a second rate scholar. I believe the publishing company just pulled a free translation off of the web without even bothering to proof read it, made a simple cover (for which they did file a copywrite), and proceeded to sell it on Amazon.com. Very dissapointing.
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I was expecting a huge tome full of Confuscian statements which are allegorical to warfare. What I received was a 69-page book of short instructions which are dirrectly about warfare, but in many cases allegorical to life.

Possibly they're all in some way applicable to the day-to-day, the fighting with fire section does seem a bit specialised, but doubtless the scales will fall from my eyes at some stage and I will be able to use its teachings in buying tangerines from waitrose.

The best thing about the book is the ability to spice up conversation. Never again will I use a hackneyed marketing phrase where something from Sun Tzu will work. Brilliant.
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