The Art of War: a Novel

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The Mystery of Sun Tzu

So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.

Sun Tzu’s classic work is a fascinating mixture of the poetic and the pragmatic

Giving a rest to the horrors of real wars, this lesson is an interesting explanation of why adventure stories are always so captivating. Since, you never saw a "hero" facing a weak opponent. In real life is quite wise and logical to do it, but in fictional literature? Oh, you always read about the underdog battling against the odds and fighting a very stronger enemy. I guess that sometimes logic can be boring against the excitement of tall challenges. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: 1 Recklessness, which leads to destruction; 2 cowardice, which leads to capture; 3 a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; 4 a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; 5 over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.

Easily this can be the fragment that I liked the most to read in this book, since after reading it, well, my first thought was about Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation , since in fiction, usually almost any leading character hardly will fall to the fault 2, but many times, for the sake of excitement and showing daring scenes, some leaders are faulty to one of more than one of those mentioned faults.

Again, the conflict between practical logic against excitement. A good example of lessons about war and leadership can be seen in the recent film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes where in a film industry willing to give as much warfare and destruction without delay for the sake of selling tickets, in this movie, you can watch to "Caesar", the leader of the rising Ape community and his struggles to avoid war at all costs since he knows well how hard and costly can be the losses of any war, not matter if you resulted in the "victorious" one.

Sadly, wars is part of the humankind, since I think that even in those so-called "peace times", always, in some place, in a small scale or in a bigger scale, there has been a war. So, learning how to avoid a war, and if you have to do it, learning how to carry it out with the fewer loss of human lives of both sides of the conflict , always is a relevant topic. View all 57 comments. Dec 27, Lyn rated it liked it. Who reads the Art of War? OK, sure everybody, or anybody can, but who actually does and why? If we could somehow take a survey and create a pie chart of who reads this year old Chinese manual, what would we find, who reads it?

Military professionals, sure; executives, probably — wanna be executives, almost certainly; sports coaches, law enforcement officers, school teachers, teenage gamers, etc etc. The title will get attract and repel many all by itself. The text, full of philosophical musings Who reads the Art of War? What will readers take from these words written so long ago? One thing, unfortunately, is that human nature does not seem to change — if Master Sun was a wise and great general years ago, people had been fighting long before then and enough for him to be considered a master of the subject.

Even a casual observer of history will notice that there have been plenty of students of war ever since. In history — how many humans have been killed in war, in battle, in organized conflict?

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Old age and cancer and heart trouble seems to account for a great many deaths, but throughout history there seems to be a virus that gets too many of our young people. One thing that can be drawn from this tome is that if war is to be fought, if it is inevitable, if a line has been crossed or a river in Italy and there is no going back, then it must be fought to win. Military leaders are taught to be prepared and decisive, to act. But for me, and I think the everlasting philosophy that should be taken from this work, is that war is costly, and brutal, and ugly and should be avoided if at all possible.

What do readers other than military leaders take from this? To go for the jugular? To win at every cost? Preparation and contemplation and the ability to act when necessary are all elements attributed to the Art, and certainly decisiveness when the time is right, but not savage brutality or chaos for the sake of destruction.

Ultimately this is about conflict, strategy and leadership — themes that are relevant to more than just the military. An important work that should be read. I heard a quote recently that made me wonder if the speaker had it right, misquoted, or was just making up a quote and attributing the statement to Sun Tzu for effect; and that made me think of Kevin Klein's character Otto from A Fish Called Wanda. View all 21 comments. Finally finished the first book of this year! Took me a lot of time due to my exams and uni in general.

And I liked it. I think everybody should read it because many of the ideas from the Art of War can be found in different fields, for example in business. View all 8 comments. Jan 29, Dannii Elle rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-highness , non-fiction-nuances , classic-captivaton. If anyone is looking for a war general I am available and well versed in war tactics due to this book. Hook me up. View all 13 comments. So, I jumped into it, and listened to it during a car ride. The Art of War is a well versed, and short guide book to strategize, and tactically win a war.

There were tons of great advice, and still relatable today. I would go even deeper that it doesn't entirely reflect on physical warfare I listened to The Art of War for a few reasons; 1 It was only a hour long, 2 It was free because I am an Amazon Prime member, 3 It was narrated by Aiden Gillen, also known as Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger.

I would go even deeper that it doesn't entirely reflect on physical warfare, but a verbal confrontation or debate would suffice Sun Tze's philosophical meanings. Even playing chess I could take his guide book, and reflect on the game. It was quite an interesting book, and I found myself grinning at a few verses. Other times I thought to myself what he was saying was really obvious, but again I wouldn't think about it. Sometimes I don't always notice the obvious, but good thing someone points it out.

At the end, I don't think I would apply to be a general. I wouldn't be a great general. I am too impatient, and my emotions would get the better of me. I would sometimes take the bait, and I don't always see the full picture. You should see me play chess. Lastly, my imagination formulated a great picture while listening, and it was due to the narrator. By the way he did a great job. Spoilers ahead for GOT if you haven't watched or read the series.

Littlefinger was soaking the information to guide him to play the game, and to win. Here are a few examples of how he uses the book to his advantage: Scouts are important to win the battle, which he has to watch everyone. He sweetens his words to gain ground when there is weakness, and says nothing at all when the enemy is vigilant. Littlefinger you sly devil. It was an interesting read, and I recommend it. You could learn something from it. Happy reading. My blog: www. It also seems to be that nobody even knows for sure who wrote the book or when, but everyone uses it anyway. Included in this book are precious reminders that strategy helps you win, retreating helps you not die, if you outnumber the enemy 5 to 1, attacking would probably be a good idea, and also if you're a tiny country surrounded by powerful countries, it might be time to Evidently, it seems, for the last couple thousand years, EVERYONE has been using the same textbook on how to conduct a war.

Included in this book are precious reminders that strategy helps you win, retreating helps you not die, if you outnumber the enemy 5 to 1, attacking would probably be a good idea, and also if you're a tiny country surrounded by powerful countries, it might be time to make an alliance or two.

If these sound like things you don't already know, but would like to know, then this book is for you. And all your country's women, children, and probably most of the men will be raped and slaughtered in such gruesome manner as to make those easily victorious soldiers who just did the raping and slaughtering vomit from their own gruesomeness. View all 26 comments. Shelves: all.

So many little wars must be waged daily. Works on the battlefield and the office. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move. They conquer by strategy. When you are igno So many little wars must be waged daily. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal.

If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril. View all 3 comments. Sep 16, Colleen rated it it was ok Recommends it for: anyone interested in Imperial Chinese military strategies. While Sun Tzu is constantly praised for his work on The Art of War, I find it hard to believe that it has inspired anyone. This famous military strategy book has provided people such as Napoleon and the cast of 'Survivor: China' advice on handling the opposing force. However, despite the simple yet adequate translation that Lionel Giles provided, The Art of War does nothing more than to reiterate common sense.

The Art of War: A Graphic Novel

Sun Tzu asks the audience to not show off their strong points, but to lead the enemy While Sun Tzu is constantly praised for his work on The Art of War, I find it hard to believe that it has inspired anyone. Sun Tzu asks the audience to not show off their strong points, but to lead the enemy to think that they are at a weak state. Does the average right-headed general not know this?

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  4. In addition to that, Sun Tzu starts off by glorifying his tactics and dares any ignorant generals to oppose him. He says that he can predict a battle's outcome based on that alone. It almost seems as if he is basking in his own arrogance. The Art of War may have once been an excellent strategy book, but it's also out-of-date in many ways.

    Reader Interactions

    Only read this if you're interested in Imperial Chinese military. View all 27 comments. The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu "Master Sun", also spelled Sunzi , is composed of 13 chapters. Each one is devoted to a distinct aspect of warfare and how that applies to military strategy and tactics. For almost 1, years it was the lead text in an anthology that would be formalised as the Seven Military Classics by Emperor Shenzong of Song in The Art of War remains the most influential strategy text in East Asian warfare.

    It has a profound influence on both Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond. View 2 comments. Oct 17, Heidi The Reader rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , classics. Frankly, I got tired of my husband quoting this and having no idea what he was talking about.

    I must love him a great deal because this was so not my thing though I valiantly struggled my way through it. I'd say about three quarters of the book was commentary and translation quibbles on the text itself, which is really rather brief and kind of pretty in a "this is how you kill a bunch of people" sort of way.

    My big take-aways from this were Frankly, I got tired of my husband quoting this and having no idea what he was talking about. My big take-aways from this were: 1 Pay attention to where you are and what's going on around you all the time, especially in war.

    And also be super sneaky about what you're going to do. Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to which the enemy will act. Don't stick to orders from an emperor who's really far away because he doesn't know what the heck is going on like you do. Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.

    This knowledge makes you strong so other people can't determine your future. Use it to win your war. Neither is it the acme of excellence if you fight and conquer and the whole Empire says, "Well done! What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. If either of these things suck, you're in trouble.

    For example, if the dudes you're going to war against put their pots and pans away, they're planning on dying in battle. Who knew, right? So, that's The Art of War. Now back to my regularly scheduled reading. Sun Tzu's The Art of War is said to be the oldest military treatise in the world.

    The Art of War

    Written centuries before the height of the Chinese empire before the common era, this slim volume did not make its way to the west until , when French colonists brought a copy back to Paris. Regarded as classic by many, I decided to read the treatise for myself.

    Selecting an edition translated by Lionel Giles, the version I read was a mere 98 pages in length and at times underwhelming. The first forty pages of t Sun Tzu's The Art of War is said to be the oldest military treatise in the world. The first forty pages of the volume I selected was a whirlwind of a rundown of over two thousand years of Chinese history. Not much quantity was given to any particular dynasty or time period, and it seemed as though this introduction was written for a high school text book.

    It was difficult to keep dates and names straight, and the only significant item that stood out was the construction of the Great Wall and its subsequent expansion. The only saving grace of this introduction was a timeline that contrasted eras of history with Chinese dynasties and their contributions to both Chinese and world history.

    While I found out that the origins of foot binding occurred nearly one thousand years ago, this historical footnote did little to benefit the actual text and its place in literary history. Perhaps the edition I read is dated. Currently many western schools teach Chinese to children as young as six so by the time that they are adults, these children turned adults are fluent in Mandarin. Likewise, as China has opened to the west, educated Chinese have knowledge in English.

    Unfortunately, I was at the liberty of what was available at my library system, and a modern, more fluid translation was not available to me. While it is apparent that Giles has knowledge of Chinese, at times it was hard to follow whether the words were Giles' insights or Sun Tzu's words. Including numerous examples of modern warfare to augment the text, Giles does not give justice to Sun Tzu's original intent.

    While these examples lend credence to how the Chinese military treatise has been implemented over the years, I was more interested in the original text than the interpretations of it. Tzu's actual text is limited due to the translation. It does offer advice to militaries as to how to implement battle plans. These include the knowledge of terrain, the season in which to invade, and knowledge of one's enemy and how to overcome one's deficiencies.

    Giles takes liberties in discussing why certain chapters are included where they are, and I give him credit for taking the time to discuss the Chinese tradition of honor and killing oneself if a soldier committed an error of warfare.

    Best lessons and summary of The Art Of War, By Sun Tzu - Business Insider

    I found this especially intriguing in terms of spying and what an honorable Chinese soldier would do when either caught by his enemy or when having failed to deliver information to his superior. As one who enjoys reading about and watching films about modern espionage, I thought it was fascinating that the Chinese had developed rules in regards to spies over two thousand years ago. The Art of War has been utilized by armies for over two centuries. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

    I guarantee they do. You face battles every day on your journey to success whether you recognize it or not. Once you get the job, you compete with your coworkers to get the promotion and win the free vacation to Australia. In the chaos of war are clients, proposals, and meetings you need to navigate and go on the offensive to close deals.

    Sun Tzu - The Art of War Explained In 5 Minutes

    And if you run your own entrepreneurial business, the principles from The Art Of War almost apply in a one-to-one relationship. So take success as serious as you would take war. And implement these strategies from The Art Of War to be victorious. Buy this book. Or check out other book recommendations to become more successful. Clearly one of the best books written on War. I have learned a ton about business in the past 50 minutes. Yet, this book is about, well, war. The Art Of War is absolutely staggering. Brilliant read. Let the blinks inspire you and then take the ideas into an entirely different field.

    Read full summary on Blinkist. Get the book on Amazon. Learn more about the author. The 21 year old athlete, who wants to go professional in a competitive sport, the 37 year old founder, who just came up with his business plan and is still in the research phase, and anyone who ever had to lead a team, even if it was just in high school. Thinking Fast And Slow Summary. Search for:. This website uses cookies to improve your experience.

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    The Art of War: a Novel The Art of War: a Novel
    The Art of War: a Novel The Art of War: a Novel

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