The Art of War is almost certainly the most famous study of strategy ever written and has had an extraordinary influence on the history of warfare. The principles Sun-tzu expounded were utilized brilliantly by such great Asian war leaders as Mao Tse-tung, Giap, and Yamamoto. First translated two hundred years ago by a French missionary, Sun-tzu’s Art of War has been credited with influencing Napoleon, the German General Staff, and even the planning for Desert Storm. Many Japanese companies make this book required reading for their key executives. And increasingly, Western businesspeople and others are turning to the Art of War for inspiration and advice on how to succeed in competitive situations of all kinds. Unlike most editions of Sun-tzu currently available (many simply retreads of older, flawed translations), this superb new translation makes use of the best available classical Chinese manuscripts, including the ancient “tomb text” version discovered by archaeologists at Linyi, China. Ralph Sawyer, an outstanding Western scholar of ancient Chinese warfare and a successful businessman in his own right, places this classic work of strategy in its proper historical context. Sawyer supplies a portrait of Sun-tzu’s era and outlines several battles of the period that may have either influenced Sun-tzu or been conducted by him. While appreciative of the philosophical richness of the Art of War, this edition stresses Sun-tzu’s practical origins and presents a translation that is both accurate and accessible.
Excellent Book, Good Translation
By J. Straub - April 15, 2002
There are two critical things to consider when deciding to purchase a book such as the Art of War: the first being the content / author of the book and the second being the translator. This book deserves 5 stars for both. Sun Tzu's Art of War is the de facto standard on military strategy, and Sawyers translation and reference material take the work to new heights. Sawyer has a strong grasp of the material -- and discusses (through the introduction and footnotes) the times and military methods that brought about this brilliant work. The book has a number of minor typographical errors (such as lines of text that appear as the last line of one page, and the first line of the next) but overall these errors are minor annoyances at worst.
THE text on Relational-Maneuver Warfare
By Neal J. Pollock - October 2, 2004
There are two basic types of warfare: attrition and relational-maneuver. This ancient text is the ultimate text on the latter. The US Army has mostly used attrition warfare. That means you throw more soldiers and weapons at the enemy than the enemy can handle. General Grant and WW II are cases in point. On the other hand the US Marine Corps is well-known for it use of relational-maneuver warfare such as Inchon in the Korean War. In relational-maneuver warfare, one can have lesser forces and still heavily damage the enemy or even win. As Clauswitz called it--one attacks the enemy's center of gravity or attacks the enemy with more/better forces at isolated points (e.g. the Finns vs. the Germans in WWII). One of the beauties of this approach is that there are far less casualties. In Desert Storm, the Iraqi communications were taken out early--an attack on a center of gravity for command and control. The principles in Sun Tzu's "Art of War" are transferable to any conflict... read more
Currently The Best Version Available
By Rodney J. Szasz "GESS INTERNATIONAL. Rod Szasz" - January 27, 2003
This is the best translation of Sun Tzu's work on the market. Sawyer is a deft scholar with the ability to approach the meaning most carefully in his text. Moreover the lenghty introduction to the text (three-quarters of the book) gives one a good description of the evolution of warfare in the the major dynasties of Classical China. Descriptions of everything from the development of the sword, chariot, and military organisation is included, all aspects of the the major military engagements described.The text should therefore appeal to both those who wish to get a general outline of Chinese military history and the context that Sun Tzu (and other writers described in the book) defines his concepts of strategy. This is a serious scholarship and there is numerous references to non-translated Chinese and Japanese first sources on the subject. Sawyer knows his stuff! There is also a full index with Chinese character translations of key concepts, events, people and places (since as... read more
Twenty-Five Hundred years ago, Sun Tzu wrote "The Art of War" based on Chinese warfare and military thought. Since that time, all levels of military have used this classic book of military strategy ...
Sun Tzu's The Art of War has provided strategists with essential advice on battlefield tactics and management strategies for more than two thousand years. In recent years The Art of War has become a ...
The classic book The Art of War (or as it is sometimes translated, The Art of Strategy ) by Sun Tzu is often used to illustrate principles that can apply to the management of business environments. ...