The Art of War Info

Fan Club Reviews of best titles on art fashion, artists, history, photography. Check out our top reviews and see what others have to say about the best art and photography books of the year. Check out The Art of War Community Reviews - Find out where to download The Art of War available in multiple formats:Kindle,Mass Market Paperback,Audible Audiobook,Hardcover,Audio CD,Flexibound,Paperback The Art of War Author:Sunzi,Lionel Giles Formats:Kindle,Mass Market Paperback,Audible Audiobook,Hardcover,Audio CD,Flexibound,Paperback Publication Date:May 17, 2012

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital
format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the
web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

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792 Ratings






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Reviews for The Art of War:


January 21, 2014

A Classic
In all honesty, this is a book that is great to read but, equally important, great to think about and ponder. The free version on kindle is full of all the wit and wisdom that is found in a paper version. Do yourself a favor and pick out a section and really just pause and reflect on what you are reading and the implications for a variety of topics. It may help make the book even more worthwhile. Anyhow, in terms of reading/reviewing, this is a book that you have to be willing to engage with. Just reading the book straight through, without reflecting upon, will leave you disappointed. But, if you do think about the book; you'll probably get a lot out of it.

June 17, 2019

I received this tiny little leaflet as shown in the photos instead of the actual book. Then went to barnes and noble and bought what I meant to purchase. Even arrived with damage to the front, like someone spilled something on it. Not worth returning because I will have to pay just as much to ship it back.

September 12, 2014

Only Worth it Because it is Short and Widely Read
I thought it was appropriate to listen to this millenia old Chinese book on the way to Beijing. I've heard it is the most read book of all time apart from the Bible. It's about military strategy but puts it in a way that can apply to almost any kind of achieving-your-goals situation you want to apply it to.

The audio edition is only an hour and 15 mins long (without commentary) so the investment was minimal, and for the investment...worth it. A predecessor to the modern self help genre. Could be a good one to read when you are pushing to achieve some goals.

"It is not enough to put ones trust in the tethering of horses or in chariot wheels in the ground" ... Sound similar to the bible readers?

Don't command "the army to advance or retreat, being ignorant that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the army."

I read the Giles translation...seemed good.

November 1, 2015

Skip the first fourth
It is unfortunate that a fourth of the book is taken up by a long and nearly useless introduction. The first page or so was good, but then rambled on with details and names giving opinions about the book that almost made me give up. Once I found the actual beginning (it was hard to spot as it seemed like yet another page of rambling with nothing telling you the book was starting. A couple of blank lines or a title or something to let you know would have been great. I found the actual book to be good, with excellent translation notes and commentary that was spot on, not like the rambling scholarship of the first pages.

January 25, 2015

A functional translation
The meaning is preserved, but sadly it's beauty is somewhat diminished by wordy translations and comments. Nothing is left out, however.

It's similar to the comparison of a study bible to the King James version.

Compare the following examples and you'll see what I mean:

Bob Sutton (?) translation (this book):

"1. In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.
[The equivalent to an army corps, according to Ssu-ma Fa, consisted nominally of 12500 men; according to Ts`ao Kung, the equivalent of a regiment contained 500 men, the equivalent to a detachment consists from any number between 100 and 500, and the equivalent of a company contains from 5 to 100 men. For the last two, however, Chang Yu gives the exact figures of 100 and 5 respectively.]" (III - Attack by Strategem)

Samuel B. Griffith, Oxford University translation:

"1. Generally in war the best policy is to take the state intact; to ruin it is inferior to this.
Li Ch'uan: Do not put a premium on killing." (III- Offensive Strategy)

Both of these segments are the same verse, yet the latter states it much more succinctly. Taste and opinions may differ, but I prefer the Oxford translation over this one.

June 14, 2014

The front matter is thick with literary and historical data.
The formality lends to the authenticity of the material, but bogs down getting to it.
The obvious answer is to ‘jump forward’ to the work itself.
Based on the lengthy material you have to wade through to get at it, the material is as good and as accurate a translation as possible. It some respects, that is a drawback because the phraseology used is not contemporary and I had to reflect on some passages to get a better interpretation of what was being inferred.
To counter that: a ‘modern book’ with ‘modern’ phraseology relies on the interpretation of someone else.
I think the balance is to read this version first (it is the third version I have read) to get a solid background and sense of the material and then read a ‘contemporary’ version produced as an interpretation (not a translation) for clarification.
I assure you, this book is worth reading.

August 9, 2019

Awesome book... Pretty amazing insights
Simply put, Sun Tzu says that it is better not to fight than to be involved in a conflict, but if you are going to have to fight, then you have to do it to win, and these are the various strategies, often brutal, that will get you that result.

Niccolò Machiavelli, in The Prince says if you are in a position of power and seek to maintain it, it is better to be loved and respected, but if you can't achieve that, then at least enforce respect and these are the, often brutal, strategies that will get that result.

I say, if you are going to be a politician in the generally-winning party and you don't like reading much, The Prince is for you. Very sly. If however you see yourself in opposition, arguing your point, try Sun Tzu first.

For the rest of us the books are short and make interesting historical and somewhat philosophical reading but they aren't going to change your life other than giving you a leg up on the intellectual book ladder, always a plus for the pseuds!

May 20, 2019

Principles applicable to dealing with Bullies!
I enjoyed this condensed read. As a whistleblower attorney, author and CEO of a national office that confronts workplace bullying, I appreciate any credible efforts to help people explore their lives.

I took on the federal government for retaliation, harassment and bullying due to my being a whistleblower. I succeeded in my legal action to my full satisfaction!

That experience was, in many respects, a type of war. Hence many of the principles found in the original book, The Art of War, were applicable.

For what it is, I found this to be a good read.

April 14, 2018

A great book to read
I was give this book in exchange of an honest review.

I liked it a lot, it has a lot of good principles to conquer anything you may think of if applied correctly.

I do now know why almost everyone in bussiness and other areas use it so much, this principles are pretty much moldeable to any situation if you want to use them to several circumstances.

A great book to read.

March 26, 2015

One of the most important books in history. But find another version.
The Art of War should be considered a must read, regardless of your desire to ever fight in a war.

The lessons about leadership and accountability can be applied to anyone's daily life. Even the lessons about warfare, while told in a very literal sense about real war with real life and death stakes, can be applied to many situations in daily life that have less than lethal consequences.

However, this particular version is not compiled well for the Kindle or Kindle app. The text is just all over the place and is not set up properly.

July 26, 2019

Poor Formatting ruins this version
I couldn't get past the endless author's notes inserted in between the actual text. The formatting made it a chore to actually ready the book.

June 29, 2019

Not the full book

June 22, 2019

Not for me
I've tried reading this book twice, over the years. I keep thinking I'm going to learn some great wisdom about strategy. I've never gotten past the first few pages of brutality.

June 11, 2019

Not a good read
Too much old war strategies. Did not buy this book thinking this is all about old war strategies. Not a good read

May 16, 2019

"his opinions on the art of war" go write a friggin blog.
So glad it was free. If I'd paid for this I'd be pissed. I don't want your opinion repackaged as the original. Rename this garbage "my thoughts on the art of war". I want the actual thing. Not your blog.

April 12, 2019

Not my area of interesr
Couldn't get into it. ☹️

October 2, 2018

Book was switched at checkout!
Book switch. The book I selected from the email ad is NOT the book it gave me to order. I saw the color of the bookjacket was changed from red to yellow but didn’t see until after ordering that the author was also different. Shame on you.

September 23, 2018

Very hard read!
Very hard read! Could not follow because of the names and references. Would have enjoyed it more if I were a history buff.

June 7, 2018

Awful formatting
Wanted a kindle version. This is so poorly formatted that it's frustrating.

July 6, 2019

Short but detailed I guess
Thought it was the whole book, guess I didn't read the description good enough

May 14, 2019

The book was interesting, but not really anything that I already did not know. I guess it has been referenced so many times in pop culture, there might not be much else to know

June 19, 2018

Very hard to follow
Not the real book.Its more like a collection of stuff without any order.. I found it very hard to follow and gave up..

April 16, 2018

Typos and errors
Books had a lot of typos and erros. Wish kindle had a paid version

April 15, 2018

Two Stars
Did not hold my interest

August 21, 2017

Good info, but excruciating to read.
Good info, but excruciating to read. The content does not flow at all with all of the different notes and translations.

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