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Still a source of inspiration for soldiers on the battlefield and managers in the boardroom 2000 years after it was written, Sun-Tzu's The Art of War is the most influential book of strategy in the world, translated from the Chinese by John Minford in Penguin Classics.
'Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting'
For more than two thousand years, Sun-Tzu's The Art of War has provided leaders with profound insights into the use of skill, tactics, psychology and discipline to outwit opponents. Said to have inspired Napoleon, and used by Mao Zedong and General Douglas MacArthur, as well as many famous business gurus, politicians and sports stars, its ancient words of wisdom provide a touchstone for today's managers and executives fighting their boardroom battles. This best-selling book offers ancient wisdom on how to use skill, cunning, tactics and discipline to outwit your opponent.
Little is known for definite about Sun Tzu (544-496 B.C.) and his life during the Warring States period after the decline of the Zhou dynasty, but his classic The Art of War has been one of the central works of Chinese literature for 2500 years.
If you enjoyed The Art of War, you might like Machiavelli's The Prince, also available in Penguin Classics.
'Absorb this book, and you can throw out all those contemporary books about management leadership'
'Reflecting on Sun-Tzu's work is to the business manager what weight lifting is to the champion athlete - an exercise that makes one stronger'
John Kohut, Beijing Bureau Chief, South China Post
Sun-tzu's The Art of War has led military strategists, economists, politicians and other leaders for more than 2,000 years, and has been translated numerous times. Scholar Minford takes a crack at it here, offering a new translation, introduction and commentary. This fundamental volume could be one of the best in recent years, as it features notes on pronunciation, suggestions for further reading, a chronology of Chinese dynasties and historical events, and more. After these briefings, Minford separates the book in two: first, a straightforward translation of Sun-tzu's book, and second, the translation coupled with commentary. "The Art of War is both inspirational and worrying. It is beautiful and chilling....It lends itself to infinite applications," Minford writes. Indeed, this new translation is accessible to anyone seeking guidance, whether they're learning to drive defensively, ironing out relationship kinks or conducting war.