Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Title: The Art of War
Author: Sun Tzu

ISBN-10: 159308-016-6

Publication: Barnes and Nobel classics

Genre/pages: Non-fiction/255

This is a timeless writing that is applicable to all aspects of life - not just the philosophy of waging war. We have artillery and now stealth and precision, the reminder that "no two wars are alike" and "it is flexibility that makes a difference" is being shown today to still be true. Even in today's wars, there is a need for good intelligence and deception. Sun Tzu shows the advantage in specialized units and crack troops.

This book is brilliant, and reading it is a tremendous experience. Sun Tzu is the master, and The Art of War is a masterpiece on general strategy and tactics that can be used in many situations.

The Art of War is not a long book, but despite its size, it is totally packed with content. Some themes of the book include

- always ensuring you are prepared
- adapting and responding to circumstances

- knowing yourself, the enemy, and the environment
- being unpredictable, secretive, and deceptive

- making calculations - exploiting opportunities
- avoiding your enemy's strengths, and attacking his weak spots

- causing disorder among your enemy

- using baits to manipulate others

- ensuring good teamwork through picking the right people to do the right job, good communication, and synergy

- knowing when to fight and when not to fight

In summary, I would just like to say that The Art of War is definitely one great book on war written thousands of years ago. It is just as relevant today.

A pretty heavy read and it took me a while to finish it.