- Paperback: 72 pages
- Publisher: Prohyptikon Publishing Inc. (11 Mar. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0981224407
- ISBN-13: 978-0981224404
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.4 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,801,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sun Tzu's The Art of War (Prohyptikon Value Classics) Paperback – 11 Mar 2009
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Top customer reviews
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Most versions of this work spend more time trying to identify and qualify Sun Tzu's writings than just quoting them. I will not go through all the arguments as to who "wrote what when" or "translated what when" as you can read this for yourself.
Another distraction is the attempt to show how the book was applied or not applied in recent wars. This may be interesting to someone whose intention is to apply the theories of Sun Tzu; however it is not his writing but someone else's interpretation of its application.
Now let's finally get to Sun Tzu. It is easy with hindsight and a closer look at the future to dismiss Sun Tzu as his practical tactical knowledge is of a time and place long gone. He spends a lot of time on the use of weapons and information gathering techniques of the time. This can be interesting in a historical context; other wise it is quite amusing.
Oh yes those grains of truth I mentioned, well they may sound like clich's but they are still viable. "Know your enemy and know yourself". Others are just practical sense and statistical outcomes that you learn in any military training. I could go through the list, but again that is why you buy the book.
Now just as you decide that the book is outdated for any practical purposes today we have artillery and now stealth and precision, the reminder that "no two wars are alike" and "it is flexibility that makes a difference" is being shown today to still be true. Even in today's wars there is a need for good intelligence and deception. We put a lot of time and energy into Psy-Ops. Sun Tzu shows the advantage in specialized units and crack troops.
I have spent several years in the military and in business and can say this book is a nice addition to history, otherwise of very little value to today's world for war or business.
The most abuse of this book is trying to use it for projects as project management is a science that that was in its infancy at the time this book was written.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Aside from the "unleash flaming arrows from upwind", which I can't see much use for in daily life, there's lots that can metaphorically be useful.