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The Art of War, Sun Tzu, Wordsworth books, 2009

Dec 31, 2010, 12:24 PM

This book dates to 2000 years ago, by one of the many Chinese philosophers and war strategist named Sun Tzu. It is a major political classic, the product of a time of intense political and social turmoil in China. This was the period of Chinese history called the warring Decades, about 2500 years ago. The Chinese were being pummeled left, right and centre by enemies who wanted to conquer and dominate China. This led some of its great thinkers to come together to devise ways of means of resistance and preserving their identity.

This book is generally about wisdom; how being small, poor, ill endowed may not be an obstacle to growth, victory and triumph over adversity. In this book, Sun Tzu, the author offers practical guides to success by kingdoms over their enemies.

It is not arm chair strategy; his notes are serious, urgent, practical and doable. Herein lies the strength of Sun Tzu’s treatise. It has been republished hundreds of times in all the world’s major languages, and like Shakespeare’s works, remains a book for all times, all seasons.

In many ways, this book anticipated The Prince by the Italian philosopher Nicolo Machiavelli in which he offers how to win power and maintain it. Here Sun Tzu focuses on how