The Art of War

The Art of War by Sun Tzu Book Summary

An Apple Books Classic edition.

It’s believed that Sun Tzu wrote this Chinese military primer during the 5th century BC-hundreds of years before the Bible. The book’s 13 chapters explore principles that statesmen around the globe have employed for centuries to defeat their enemies at war.

Sun Tzu starts by mapping out the five fundamental factors that lead to war. He then covers a wide range of topics, from avoiding conflict altogether to strategically positioning soldiers, pulling off tactical maneuvers, and putting spies to use.

Despite the technological advances made since The Art of War was published, Sun Tzu is still considered one of history’s foremost military strategists, and his methods still ring true. While he wrote the book as a manual for those who would literally wield swords, it has reached a much broader audience in this day and age. Warriors of all kinds-like corporate leaders or athletes-seek out Sun Tzu’s wisdom in their quest for success.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu Book Reviews

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Eye opener

Very useful data.

This book is applicable for all era and for every situation. I only find the English translation little poor.

I really only read it because of technoblade

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I read the whole thing while I was doing Convoys in Iraq. However, its bad for the sake of Humanity, when considered against employments within the corporate world. In my opinion, its one of the biggest reasons that the world economic equilibrium is failing. Counterintuitive to the infinity of our existence.

I’ve finally finished this after 7 years. Book has a lot of interest points… Brought the war out of me. *rawr* Though, I find it some parts more informative then not. Would recommend to someone.

“If fighting is sure to result in victory then you must fight!” Sun Tzu said that, and I’d say he knows a little more about fighting than you do pal because he invented it! And then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor! Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth. And then he herded them onto a boat, and beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward anytime there are more than one animal in one place it’s called a zoo! Unless it’s a farm!

War is broken down to its components. A science is killing and violent behavior between people

I saw this in a tecnoblade vid and read it through is absolutely worth the effort

Liked the examples in the footnotes though. Kept it just interesting enough to keep going.

Got bored 3/4th way throughout the book. It becomes severely repetitive at some points, even if Sun Tzu or the commentators are attempting to emphasise a point, it is, often, not necessary. It mentions a lot of good points and the commentary is all in all very helpful and somewhat entertaining when they tell stories of generals using the points/methods mentioned by sun tzu. It gives a live example of the method or the mentioned point in the working and shows it’s effect and what principles lie within it. Although sometimes, the comments are rather excessive or extremely long. All in all, 3/5 or 6/10.

I found The Art of War an enlightening read due to its conceptions of war, place in history, and relevance to modern Chinese thinking. Sun Tzu, though his schemas of war are rudimentary (attributable to the lack of contemporary compendiums of military literature we take for granted today), perfectly addresses the realities of how to wage war efficiently and effectively. This work has undoubtably struck a cord that reverberates through history and influences the modern harmony. It can be seen today in how the Chinese Communist Party propagates it’s influence throughout the world by adapting Western ideologies and knowledge, by concealing their ultimate goal of restoring China has the global hegemony, and through the secrecy by which they carry out this goal. They are truly adaptable like “water over various surfaces” and their methods are opaque and destructive without even raising an gun. I came to this book to better understand China, and I’ve found the experience greatly rewarding.

I love this book I’ve read it many times a true classic

The book was short, I read it in less than 2 hours. If your attention span isn’t long than it can be a little boring. The book all in all could have just been summed into bullet points and made into a book of quotes. Reading this was more interesting in my current life because I am watching Game of Thrones and you can see a lot of strategies Sun Zhu talks about in the show. All the more interesting.

Great book, but I swear to god you guys need to stop talking about Technoblade.

The notes in the middle of the chapters are too disruptive and make it easy to miss things if you try to skip over them.

I think that this book is very useful in both everyday situations and for combat and I just love it in general

The Art of War is 13 chapters about strategy, applicable to not only war but many other facets of life and endeavors. This edition somehow balloons that simple and short treatise to two hundred and ninety-two pages with meandering anecdotes, useless and redundant rephrases of the previous statements, and lord knows what else. I really hoped the annotations would just be things like historical context or clarification on anything vague that came up, and while some of them are, most are not. I’m just going to read it on a website. I didn’t want to because I wanted a nice ebook format, but I guess that’s not really how this is going to go.

Well-known book. The formatting of the forms made it a little clunky for me, but probably not easy to do in the electronic format. I would rather see footnotes as links so I can choose when I read them more easily rather than being forced to scroll back and forth.

This book is very good in explaining the “art of war” and using commentaries and deductions to answer possible questions that con with the reading.

The art of war is quite relatable to other aspects of human quest, it brings a good sense of indulgence while exposing one to military activities. A good read!

Dang he must be in the top 5 when it comes to potato farming, that is below Technoblade.

Reads easy but a few illustrations would’ve helped better. Definitely a read again.

I have read this book every couple of years for the past 20 years and I am always able to get something new from it. Ancient wisdom that reveals itself as I get older and wiser.

Potato war would be fun

Juan Alfaro Estrada

He never dies

Techno never dieeees

The naming of wars generals and royalty is confusing without context. A history lesson to proceed the book can enlighten a reader.

Good

Not the easiest names to read and/ or pronounce. Interesting and informative slice of history.

Attention parents! Must read for any adolescent child who is getting to the stage where they think they know it all. Lots of life’s lessons here!

Ok thumbs up thanks

I can say I really learned a lot from this book it’s an understanding that levels on the border line insane as some things that are and do not change

I also, in fact, got here from Techno

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I freaked love how half of these comments are about techno’s potato war

This helped me retake the Soviet Union. Thank you Sun Tzu for helping me retake the motherland!

GOAT

These tactics are great to win a potato war

This was a great book. I honestly got lost in the wisdom interweaved in certain chapters but I got the main points of the chapters as well. I would most likely recommend this book for young adults learning about life and academics. I strongly encourage others to read this book as it is dripping in wisdom and general life lessons.

The blood god pig told me to read a historical book so here I am finishing in a few days

blood

I haven’t read it but i saw it in a technoblade video so I LOVE IT 10/10 would recommend

Excellent and well written.

Sun tzu said that

Ok, if I’m being 100% honest I only found out about this book through a Technoblade video awhile ago- but forgetting that the book is pretty good!

This is not a book with the typical plot structure, it’s like a set of guidelines and info with commentator input, interpretations, and examples. It is a marvelous piece of literature.

I saw the quotes in a technoblade video and decided to read it. From how much I have read so far, really good book. Love it. Definitely will keep reading.

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Layout is done poorly. It would be nice to read a direct translation without the extra interpretation and notes from whom ever translated.

It was good but very very boring for nothing

DONT REVEAL ALL YOUR POTATO FARMING TACTICS IN A YOUTUBE VIDEO NERD

No I do not like it

nerds

Lovely intro into the arena of battle

When Going To Do Battle,... See Battle Win & Win Battle When First Approaching Battle Field In One’s Mind & Win... Decimating Everyone Of Your Enemies & Everything In Your Path... Complete Your Battle Win. This Principle Battle Stance Is Successful In All Projects Attempted. Self Achievement Through Willfully Strong Mental Concentration & Determination All The Way To The ‘Battle’s End Game Completion’... War The Art Of: ...A Very Good Book.... I first read this old Chinese Book when I was only 17. I recommend it for all students from & in any course. Get this. Cheers... Danner

It was good but, confusing. You can actually apply this to a lot like sports for instance. I also found some grammar problems where the wrong word was used. Also there are so many Chinese names and there very close to each other which made it hard to understand.

This is a time tested truth of man's bloody conquests.

Good story ruined by poor commentary. Recommend a version other than this. Very annoying

If tupac says this is a good book then it should be a good book

I tried to read this book but I could not tell what was the narration, and what was Sun Zhu. Overall, pretty darn BAD!

Aglabuga del mundo

I would much rather have the annotations separate from the text. There are annotations every line or two, and it's impossible to get the flow of the text or process what the author is actually saying with all the interruptions.

This book is amazing. Couldnt keep my eyes off of it :)

I see why it's free. The "commentary" is extremely annoying. I am capable of understanding and forming my own opinion, thanks.

A good book wether you dream of commanding an army of ninjas or just need inspiration to organize your life style and best of all it's free

Somewhat frustrating to read at times, with references/examples jumping from chapter to chapter. Commentary was also a little disarray but there is enough to make for some interesting learning. I would recommend other books of strategy, before recommending this book.

Not bad for a beginner reader

Very interesting insight to the various strategies and defences of war.

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It was rambling about Chinese stuff and generally NOT making sense. You will regret getting this. :(

I didn't even read it . I only kept it open so my teacher thought I was reading

The best thing about books are not the same as a result of a new contractors something's wrong don't mean you can't have fun and I don't know how to make books

Please help

Good to have it on here for reference.

Sun Tzu's Art of War represents one of the many aspects of Chinese People's superiority over the rest of the world, especially the west barbs. The west tries to learn sun tzu but in perill due to their own arrogance and self-worshipping. So the west could forget sun tzu and stick back to their own barbarian way.

Pretty good for free I would say maybe Read it if so bored

I couldn't find a definition for it. Sorry, I don't hang around hipster coffee shops.

"divide overflow". get your head checked because this was one of the best books ever written. p.s general, sun tzu won many battles and was a presteiged general in ancient history. get a life...

The hype surrounding the ramblings of a Chinese pseudo-philosopher peasant makes this a complete disappointment. It's actually LESS painful reading Ayn Rand than this drivel. Seriously, save your time. We know we're all reading it for coffee shop intellectual epeen boosting. Just pretend you read it, just like everyone else does.

I’m only here for technoblade

I thought this book was hard yet fun to read, what I enjoyed most was the battle tactics of Sun Zu; I didn’t like the many brackets as the were quite distracting but other than that the book was very good!

The Art of War itself is quite fascinating and enjoyable however this free edition is badly edited with many spelling mistakes and many grammer issues.

This edition has a wealth of additional notes to contextualise this ancient text to the modern reader with considerations given to the translation. Good read of an often referred to text.

Book stupid

Great read!

It is cool. I will now commit many war crimes with this information

Well worth a read.

Anyone else come from techno :)

Fascinating insight on literature over 2000 years old. The contemporaneous examples in the history of Chinese wars were engaging to understand the context - sometimes difficult to follow as am not familiar with the players in the landscape.

A timeless strategical and philosophical masterpiece, with many various opinions and interpretations, making it suitable and easy to read for anyone. You don't need to be training as an army officer to appreciate the endless amount of knowledge, much of which can be transferred to general, everyday life.

I know now how to crush my enemies to a pulp, bring them to their knees and make them beg for mercy. My troops will bring them to the ground and their pride!

Great read with some valuable background and surrounding information. I would happily have paid for this- grab it while its free its a steal :)

Although a lot of effort has gone into translating the text, the book was pretty unreadable as the sentences are continually fractured by references or commenting on what other people have said. I would have just preferred to read what sun tzu wrote, if they want to add a foreword in fine.

This is a slightly odd version of this book. It reads like an academics first draft. The extra notes and interpretations vary from incomprehensible to fascinating. I would recommend it to a casual reader but don't be afraid to skip the odd page.

Books survive for a reason. The wisdom in this book has been regurgitated thousands of times but never bettered. It is the first and only business book you'll ever need.

Way too long.... Why use 37 words when one will do?? ... Try another author

David Dickenson. True or False?

Only a third through it, but it is a really great read. The commentator does a great job of making the chinese proverbs understandable and makes it easy for any age. I am 16 and i found it compelling. I definately recomend this book despite its length.

I found this a very interesting and real-life applicable book and the anecdotes made by the commentator(s) are also interesting as well as factual information :D

Very long

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Been reading some of them and I can not stay in place all the time.

I haven’t read anything this bad since John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas.”

I started reading this book because my friends kept telling me about it, I’m not really the type to read books, but when I read this book I was shocked on how good it was. 10/10 would read again

You may be thinking that this book is only for a general, admiral, etc. But it can really be useful for anyone who has some sort of authority. This book tells you about stuff like rewarding your army that could easily be put into the context of stuff like sports teams and businesses. This book has some hard words and there is some commentary that can be at times long but is usually helpful. The book is free though so can’t really complain.

This book is very epic I saw it in a technoblade video.

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Great read, I like the commentary but it was a bit confusing until I got into it

Essays between 2-3 sentences of original text. I appreciate the effort and I actually like notes, just not more notes than text.

Bad

technoblade never dies

Mm

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. My only negative response was the significant amount of commentary. However, I did not find it to difficult to skip around it and some was helpful, so overall I’m still giving it a positive rating.

I think it’s safe to say that even if you haven’t read this book, you’ve definately heard of it before. This is a classic, and as far as I can tell, speaking as someone who can’t speak the least bit of Chinese, a fairly good translation as well. However there is one drawback. I had to read this book for school, but being unable to go to the library or the book store for obvious reasons, my parents and I began looking for a digital solution. Apple’s free classic books are great finds, and we were thrilled to find “The Art of War” on here. Part way through the first chapter I realized that this was more than just the book, a (honestly kind of distracting) commentary. The ratio of book to commentary ranged from a phrase, to a sentence, to a paragraph of the book, followed by a sentence, to a paragraph, to a couple of pages of commentary. Granted the commentary was useful at certain poitns (i.e clarifying names of people and dynasties, clarafying time lines, explaining how certain events played out, etc.), but at other points (the majority) it just made things rather hard to follow as someone who just wnated to read the book. However I did find a solution, if you see an opening bracket: [ skip till after you see a closing bracket: ] I’m not complaining, as for a free version in the middle of a pandemic this is an excellent iteration of Sun Tzu’s work, but I can see this being harder to follow for some than other’s.

It was a very easy read.

Thanks for the classic! Always enjoy reading this book.

🔥

Very good book. However for my personal tastes, it was really hard to get into and finish. It did feel like the paragraphs were rambling on.

So yeah, if you want to get better at the crucible you should read this.

In this amazing, well-written book that I’ve studied for years almost like a bible to someone that has religion in their life. Once you read behind the subtle hints about strategy you have a masterpiece! Another great book that I’ve studied for years is -On War, by General Carl von Clausewitz. Brilliant work. Tactics, strategy, and a good defense are the three main elements to victory in any battle.

Notes get in the way

Interesting read. Was curious what everyone was referencing

Theres too many notes and uses too many notes without explaining them very well.

Great book, I recommend reading the entire book !

This version is loaded with notes in between the original work. It makes it very difficult to read the original work straight through. Not a good version.

The book itself is excellent as always, but for the most part, the annotations get in the way of reading.

I have been meaning to read this book. I was not expecting the explanations in it. But at times they were helpful.

How can you go wrong with this book. It is mesmerizing!

Love

Hate the way it’s written

Great read !

For what ages is this for?

Loved this book!

It’s very obvious that nations today use this book as a bible in warfare. All the strategies implemented in modern day warfare is a carbon copy of the lessons in this book. Some of the points in this book also can be used to manipulate everyday life.

A must read if you ever want to take on a leadership position in life.

'The Art of War' has various applications in the modern world, which will award you an advantage amongst your competitors, should you find yourself in a competitive situation. This version of the book was an attempt by the translator/ compiler to take every existing translation of the book that already exists, and present them to you, so that you can observe the discrepancies amongst them. In this way, nothing (or almost nothing) is lost in translation, allowing the book to maintain its value and power amongst teams and individuals.

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The best.

This copy of The Art of War contains MANY translation notes and historical anecdotes. I found them very helpful for understanding the passages, but if you aren't looking for all the extras this copy probably isn't the one for you!

In any venture: these principles are effective

This one by far exceeds the rest, I feel it holds true to the original translation but has the right twist for modern understanding! Must have for all military, LEO's.

This book is confusing not because of its concepts but because almost the entire book is notes.

Best all time favorites!!

good read

This was a good read although difficult because some of the content was dry. This should be read by anyone that has strategic plans whether in battle or in general life.

Heard a lot about this so decided to give it a chance

I think it rather excessive that the actual art of war translation doesn't begin until the 74th page. Otherwise however it is good and very detailed

Sun Tzu speak on many different topics in this book and when reading I attempted to apply these to my life, not from a war aspect, but from an aspect of strategic thinking and evaluation of day to day encounters.

Sun Tzu - The Art of War Comments

About Sun Tzu Wiki

Sun Tzu ( soon DZOO, soon SOO; simplified Chinese: 孙子; traditional Chinese: 孫子; pinyin: Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese military general, strategist, philosopher, and writer who lived during the Eastern Zhou period. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of The Art of War, an influential work of military strategy that has affected both Western and East Asian philosophy and military thinking. It focuses much more on alternatives to battle and even to war than on war itself, such as stratagem, delay, the use of spies, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit, and a willingness to submit, at least temporarily, to more powerful foes. Sun Tzu is revered in Chinese and East Asian culture as a legendary historical and military figure. His birth name was Sun Wu (simplified Chinese: 孙武; traditional Chinese: 孫武) and he was known outside of his family by his courtesy name Changqing (Chinese: 長卿). The name Sun Tzu by which he is more popularly known is an honorific which means "Mas...

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