Now Reading Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War


With two books down on my Classics Club list, I’m on a bit of a roll, so I thought I’d keep it up by beginning to read Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War.  I’ve always been interested in reading The Art of War since I was in high school, since I had seen it on my father’s bookshelf during my entire childhood.  I never thought of reading it while I was growing up because I felt the concepts would’ve probably been a bit on the difficult side for me to understand during that period of time.

A few weeks ago, I ordered the paperback version of The Art of War from Amazon when I ordered my wife a couple of books.  Here’s a quick synopsis of what the book is about:

For more than two thousand years, Sun-tzu’s The Art of War has provided military leaders with essential advice on battlefield tactics, managing troops and terrain, and employing cunning and deception.  An elemental part of Chinese culture, it has also become a touchstone for the Western struggle for survival and success, whether in battle, in business, or in relationships.

The first half of this edition presents the core text; the second half presents the same text with extensive running commentary from the canon of traditional Chinese commentators and others.  With John Minford’s crisp, accessible translation, and lively, learned introduction, even readers already familiar with The Art of War will experience it anew, finding it more fascinating – and more chilling – than ever.

I’m truly looking forward to reading this classical piece of work and learning much from it.  Since I do have an MBA, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how Sun-Tzu’s work applies to the business world.  If you’ve read The Art of War, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

5 Responses to “Now Reading Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War”

  1. I’m jealous you’re two books into the Classic’s Club already! I’m interested in seeing your review of The Art of War I’ve seen/heard about it since I was younger as well and have meant to read it but never felt it was the right time. Hopefully it’ll be enlightening.

    • Not that I’m in a rush or anything, but I need to see about getting as much read as possible, since my wife and I are expecting our first child and his/her arrival is due at the end of June. I have no idea, after that time, how much free time I’ll actually have to do any free reading. 🙂

      So far, I’m finding The Art of War to be a relatively quick read. I’m glad this version of the book has another version of it with commentary, I’m definitely interested, after forming my own opinions, what others throughout history have thought of this work. I’ll definitely have a post up later on about my more in depth thoughts. Thanks for dropping by!

      • I remember reading about the baby somewhere! So I definitely don’t blame you. Good luck! And I will definitely have to check out that version – it’s always interesting to see what ‘real’ literary critics have to say compared to those of us out here doing our own thing.

      • Thanks! The version of The Art of War I’m reading is the Penguins Classics version, ISBN 0143105752.

        It certainly is always interesting to see what other critics have to say. Most of the critics for this book are from ancient Chinese masters who have interpreted the book along the way. It has turned an 80 page treatise into more than 200 pages!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Thoughts on Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War | Beltwayliterature - April 9, 2012

    […] my reading of Sun-Tzu’s The Art of War.  As I mentioned in my starting post about it here, I read the Penguin classics version that also included a version of The Art of War with some […]

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