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The Art of War

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Author: Sun Tzu (Zi Sun)
Published: c 610 BC
Language: English
Wordcount: 54,896 / 104 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 62.4
LoC Categories: B, U
Downloads: 647,348
Added to site: 2006.05.08 7088

Translated from the Chinese with Introduction and Critical Notes by Lionel Giles, M.A.

Show Excerpt

CHUAN, adding that there were two other CHUAN besides. This has brought forth a theory, that the bulk of these 82 chapters consisted of other writings of Sun Tzu -- we should call them apocryphal -- similar to the WEN TA, of which a specimen dealing with the Nine Situations [15] is preserved in the T`UNG TIEN, and another in Ho Shin's commentary. It is suggested that before his interview with Ho Lu, Sun Tzu had only written the 13 chapters, but afterwards composed a sort of exegesis in the form of question and answer between himself and the King. Pi I-hsun, the author of the SUN TZU HSU LU, backs this up with a quotation from the WU YUEH CH`UN CH`IU: "The King of Wu summoned Sun Tzu, and asked him questions about the art of war. Each time he set forth a chapter of his work, the King could not find words enough to praise him." As he points out, if the whole work was expounded on the same scale as in the above- mentioned fragments, the total number of chapters could not fail to be considerable. Then the numero

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.9 from 16 reviews: *****

The Shakespeare of Strategy

Rob Reader

Great, good, incisive, sapient, intellectually expanding and interesting. Just way too many comments, notes and annotations by the translator. Is there a less cluttered version available as an e-book?

Kartik Sayani

One of the most brilliant books ever written in centuries. Thanks a lot for providing the translation of the book.


This edition is the translation from the Chinese with introduction and critical notes by Lionel Giles, at the time Assistant in the Department of Oriental Printed Books and MSS in the British Museum. This translation is probably the best one available -even though it is not the most recent translation- this edition has the added value of the introduction and notes by Lionel Giles.

This standard work about the strategy of warfare was written by the Chinese general Sun Tzu (aka Sunzi and Sun Wu) in around 500 BC. It is believed to be the oldest military treatise in the world. The principles taught in this book can also be used in other situations than warfare; this book gives tips on how to outsmart others. This book is an interesting read and will certainly give you a few tips on how to be a better strategist. If you are interested in 'Art of War' by Sun Tzu than I would recommend trying to get this version of it. I do recommend this book to everybody, and not just to people who are interested in military strategy.


Best book ever.
This is not the kind of book you read. It's the kind of book you have to memorize!


What a great book!

The Art Of War

Very good read. . . . Thanks for providing this!

Sonja Test

Very good book. Enjoy!


A great book, have a look at the English version.


great book applied in different spheres


Nice book but I prefer the original version (I can read traditional Chinese and old Chinese perfectly)

Rahul Kale

Brilliant Book and great advice.. I guess we should keep management gurus off this place in case anyone learns about it. :)


Great books!

Bipolar Writer

Ageless work, brilliant man. Sun Tzu's Art of War is worth all the praise. A must-read. Keep a small book of this in your pocket, and you'll never encounter an enemy you can't beat. d= Just use your "common sense"? Of course, everyone should; but in our time, when stupid is hot and noble leadership is, like, so yesterday, don't we all need something to awake the inner tactician in us? 5 stars.


Ah Sun Tzu, a man of sheer greatness. this is a well worth download, although the file could do without the annoying endless ramblings and annotations by the team who translated it, though a fine job they did. my advice download as a document delete all the drivle at the beggining and then save the actual book as a PDF for easy reading

Priyanka Anand

Its a timeless classic. Incisive yet simple. Can easily be read as a PDF



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