The Art of War is almost certainly the
most famous study of strategy ever written and has had an extraordinary
influence on the history of warfare. The principles Sun-tzu expounded
were utilized brilliantly by such great Asian war leaders as Mao
Tse-tung, Giap, and Yamamoto. First translated two hundred years ago by a
French missionary, Sun-tzu’s Art of War has been credited with
influencing Napoleon, the German General Staff, and even the planning
for Desert Storm. Many Japanese companies make this book required
reading for their key executives. And increasingly, Western
businesspeople and others are turning to the Art of War for inspiration and advice on how to succeed in competitive situations of all kinds.
most editions of Sun-tzu currently available (many simply retreads of
older, flawed translations), this superb new translation makes use of
the best available classical Chinese manuscripts, including the ancient
“tomb text” version discovered by archaeologists at Linyi, China.
Sawyer, an outstanding Western scholar of ancient Chinese warfare and a
successful businessman in his own right, places this classic work of
strategy in its proper historical context. Sawyer supplies a portrait of
Sun-tzu’s era and outlines several battles of the period that may have
either influenced Sun-tzu or been conducted by him. While appreciative
of the philosophical richness of the Art of War, this edition stresses Sun-tzu’s practical origins and presents a translation that is both accurate and accessible.