The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu, a high-ranking military general, strategist and tactician. The text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare. It is commonly known to be the definitive work on military strategy and tactics of its time. It has been the most famous and influential of China's Seven Military Classics, and "for the last two thousand years it remained the most important military treatise in Asia, where even the common people knew it by name." It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond.
The book was first translated into the French language in 1772 by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot and a partial translation into English was attempted by British officer Everard Ferguson Calthrop in 1905. The first annotated English language translation was completed and published by Lionel Giles in 1910. Leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, General Douglas MacArthur and leaders of Imperial Japan have drawn inspiration from the work.
The workplace is a battlefield, according to author, speaker and businesswoman Chu. In her latest, she distills The Art of War, Taoist philosopher-general Sun Tzu's international bestseller on the fundamental elements of warfare and business strategy, into a primer and call-to-arms for working women. In vivid battlefield terminology, Chu covers everything from promotions and work attire to dealing with sexual harassment and male chauvinist co-workers. Lessons tend toward a "universal nuggets of wisdom" format; one of the keys Chu advances is "Know Thyself," because "how well you know the world around you is directly proportional to how well you know yourself." Other chapters cover the disposition of winning, conflict strategy, the utility of imagination, techniques for management and "fireproofing yourself." At a time when the ideal of a full, fulfilling work and home life seems more difficult than ever to achieve, Chu's primer on becoming "an effective strategist and warrior" will give doubters cause for reconsideration.