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The Art Of War Full Book Introduction

The Art Of War

14 min / Published
By Renew

The Art Of War

The Art Of War Full Book Introduction


Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, also known as Sun Wu’s Art of War, is the earliest military book known in China and the world’s first military treatise. It is known as the scripture of military science and the first book of war. The Art of War played an essential guiding role in ancient China’s system of military education and the practice of war. It is not only a luminous treasure in China’s military heritage, but also remains, to this day, the cornerstone of military wisdom handed down from ancient times.


Overview | Chapter 1

Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we will unlock The Art of War for you.


If we consider war to be a feast of death, then military strategies and tactics are the philosophy of fighting for survival. They are experience and wisdom gained through bloodshed. Such plans and precision maneuvers not only concern the survival of a country, as success or failure on the battlefield determines a nation’s future, but war also seals the fate of every individual. Whenever a war breaks out, lives are at stake, and that’s why military tactics are of utmost importance.


To understand the maneuvers on the battlefield, The Art of War is indispensable. It is the oldest book on military strategy, initiating this field of study. It provides essential guidance both to ancient Chinese military studies and modern warfare. Based on predecessors now lost, the book summarizes archaic principles and axioms relating to combat and further develops these into a system of military theory. Any reader opening the book will encounter a comprehensive description of the military methodology, from necessary preparation prior to the battle and the application of strategy in the field to the deployment, ordinance, and the study of your enemy. With the philosophy of dialectical materialism, The Art of War is regarded as the essence of early Chinese military thought. This book is a piece of esteemed Chinese cultural heritage, a jewel in the crown and often hailed as the “sacred book of military science” and the “best book on military from ancient times”.


However, although this book’s subject is war, it does not advocate conflict. Instead, Sun Tzu encourages leaders always to try peaceful means first and use force as a last resort, going into a war only when the other party was uncooperative. Sun Tzu believes that supreme excellence is not to win every battle, as the most effective action is breaking the enemy’s resistance without needing to put up a fight. Moreover, he pointed out that some generals’ excellent skill in waging war is not because they are born to be aggressive warriors but because they understand how to secure favorable circumstances before the battle starts. On the other side, those destined to lose will be the first to plunge in with a display of their might and look for opportunities as an afterthought. For Sun Tzu, it is never wise to meet your enemy head-to-head in battle. Only by attacking an army’s weaknesses and avoiding clashing against their advantages can a great commander use his troop maneuvers to work a triumphant miracle.


  • Philosophy & Religion
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