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Art of War (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor)

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9780486425573: Art of War (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor)
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Preserved in China for more than 2,000 years before it was brought to the West by the French, this compact little book is widely regarded as the oldest military treatise in the world. Rumored to have been used by Napoleon in his campaigns to conquer Europe, it today retains much of its original merit. American officers read it closely during World War II. The Japanese army studied the work for decades, and many 20th-century Chinese officers are said to have known the book by heart. More recently, it has also been viewed as a valuable guide to competing successfully in business.
Stressing the importance of attacking your enemy when he is unprepared and scheming to discover his plans, the author advises avoiding the strong and striking at the weak, and using spies for every kind of business. Principles of strategy, tactics, maneuvering, and communications, the treatment of soldiers, the importance of strong troops and well-trained officers, and the administration of rewards and punishments all have a modern ring to them.
A valuable guide to the conduct of war, this classic of military strategy is indispensable to military personnel, history enthusiasts, and anyone intrigued by competition and rivalry.

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Review:

The Art of War was written over 2,300 years ago in what is now North China. Yet it still remains a contemporary lesson on how to attain victory without going to battle. Modern-day warriors find its ancient strategies helpful regardless of whether the conflict dwells in the boardroom or the bedroom. Despite numerous references to enemies, generals, and armies, The Art of War is about nonaggression. At its core, The Art of War offers a sophisticated lesson on "taking whole," meaning staying openhearted and relaxed in order to sidestep a fight--whether you are a field commander, a CEO, or a frustrated mother putting a resistant son to bed. This particular translation comes from the Denma Translation Group, led by scholars Kidder Smith and James Gimian (publisher of Shambhala Sun magazine). Because of the text's obscure wording (even the Chinese find the original document cumbersome), the translators have inserted helpful commentary that removes some of the linguistic barriers. --Gail Hudson

From the Publisher:

Here is a seminal work on the philosophy of successful leadership that is as applicable to contemporary business as it is to war. James Clavell has taken a 1910 translation and clarified it for the contemporary reader.

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