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 Tzus 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 business people and others are turning to the Art of War for inspiration and advice on how to succeed in competitive situations of all kinds. Why has a two-thousand-year-old text proven so valuable in todays world? Because the Art of War embodies an Eastern tradition of strategy that emphasizes outwitting an opponent through speed, stealth, flexibility, and a minimum of effort. And these time-tested principles work. They have been proven on the battlefield and in the marketplace.
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Unlike 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. Ralph 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 Tzus 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, his edition stresses Sun Tzus practical origins and presents a translation that is both accurate and accessible.