Thoughts on: The Art of War by Sun Tzu

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Arti­cle first pub­lished as Book Review: The Art of War by Sun Tzu on Blogcritics.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is an ancient Chi­nese mil­i­tary trea­tise. The book, a clas­sic within the sci­ence of mil­i­tary stud­ies is only attrib­uted to the high rank­ing gen­eral and was believed to have been com­plies dur­ing the last spring and autumn of the War­ring States period(either 476 BC or 453 BC).

  • 62 pages
  • Pub­lisher: Simon & Brown
  • Lan­guage: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936041758

Book Review: The Art of War by Sun Tzu

My rat­ing for The Art of War5

Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format

I first heard of The Art of War by Sun Tzu when I was in the mil­i­tary. I heard of the book in pass­ing and read a bit more about it when I got home, but never picked up a copy until sev­eral years later.

The first thing which struck me was how short the book was, but the more I read, the more I real­ized the wis­dom behind the book. The sec­ond, third, forth and more I read this book I stopped for con­tem­pla­tion about what Sun Tzu’s words mean to me, how I imple­mented his advice both in the mil­i­tary and out­side of it and the mis­takes I made, how can I learn from them and if I will repreat them again.

But The Art of War is more than just about war. The book is about every strug­gle or con­fronta­tion, whether exter­nal or inter­nal. I can cer­tainly see how the advice applies to ancient war­fare, but when ana­lyzed, the book can apply to pol­i­tics, busi­ness and more.

Sun Tzu under­stood, as any great leader/manager that the lead­ers set the tone and spends much of the book dis­cussing those qual­i­ties. This is true in any orga­ni­za­tion, the sergeants will treat the sol­diers the way the pla­toon leader treats them, who treat the sergeants the way the cap­tains treat them, etc. Mid­dle man­age­ment will treat their employ­ees the way upper man­age­ment treats them – so sim­ple, yet so profound.

How­ever, the part that really struck home, for me, was when Sun Tzu speaks about know­ing your­self and your enemy.

So it is said that if you know oth­ers and know your­self, you will not be imper­iled in a hun­dred bat­tles; if you do not know oth­ers but know your­self, you win one and lose one; if you do not know oth­ers and do not know your­self, you will be imper­iled in every sin­gle battle.

Pro­found advice from a great gen­eral – one does not go into any com­pe­ti­tion with­out know­ing the oppo­nents. Ath­letes do not step onto the field with­out spend­ing house ana­lyz­ing every avail­able movie show­ing their oppo­nents at play and gen­er­als dis­sect enemy strate­gies to tiny details before form­ing their own.

So tell me, do you think The Art of War is still rel­e­vant today?

Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I bought this book

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