Book Review: Art of War by Sun Tzu

March 8, 2017

Art of War: Bilingual Chinese and English Text (The Complete Edition) by Sun Tzu is one of the world’s most influential books on strategy. Many think that this famous book is only about war, but truth be told, its lessons could be applied to management and management styles.

  • 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804848203

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My rat­ing for Art of War5
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I have read several translations and treaties of the Art of War by Sun Tzu, even including a graphic novel, but this is my favorite edition so far. The book includes both English and Chinese text, as well as commentary.

The introduction by John Minford, scholar of ancient Chinese literature, is alone worth the price of admission. I learned a lot from the introduction, it was interesting and informative.

The content of the book is short, maybe 60 pages, however this edition contains 250 pages, but I enjoyed the historical context and Chinese political intrigue very much. The last 100 pages or so are “translator’s notes”. There is an interesting commentary on just how Lionel Giles, the translator, chose to translate each line of text. The classical Chinese language is very dense and many of Sun Tzu’s passages have unclear meaning. Translating is an art by itself and it was fascinating to read how Mr. Giles chose his word.

This is one book that’s a keeper, a permanent edition to my home library.

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  • Give­away ends: March 14, 2017

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Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
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