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The Art of War

By: Sun Tzu

The Art of War presents a philosophy of war for managing conflicts and winning battles. It is accepted as a masterpiece on strategy and is frequently cited and referred to by generals and theorists since it was first published, translated, and distributed internationally. The book is not only popular among military theorists, but has also become increasingly popular among political leaders and those in business management. Despite its title, The Art of War addresses strategy in a broad fashion, touching upon public administration and planning. The text outlines theories of battle but also advocates diplomacy and cultivating relationships with other nations as essential to the health of a state.

Common examples can also be found in English use, such as verse 18 in Chapter 1:

 

兵者,詭道也。故能而示之不能,用而示之不用,近而示之遠,遠而示之近。

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

 

This has been abbreviated to its most basic form and condensed into the English modern proverb: "All warfare is based on deception."

Book Details

Language

English

Original Language

Classical Chinese

Published In

5 BCE

Author

Sun Tzu

China

His works focus much more on alternatives to battle, such as stratagem, delay, the use of spies and alternatives to war itself, the making and keeping of alliances, the uses of deceit and a willingnes...

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