- The Art of War
"The Art of War" (zh-cp|c=|p=Sūn Zǐ Bīng Fǎ) is a Chinese military
treatisethat was written during the 6th century BCby Sun Tzu. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it has long been praised as the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time. The Art of Waris one of the oldest books on military strategy in the world. It is the first and one of the most successful works on strategy and has had a huge influence on Eastern and Western militarythinking, business tactics, and beyond. Sun Tzu was the first to recognize the importance of positioning in strategy and that position is affected both by objective conditions in the physical environment and the subjective opinions of competitive actors in that environment. He taught that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through a to-do list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment, but in a competitive environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations.
The book was first translated into the French language in
1782by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, and had possibly influenced Napoleon, [Samuel B. Griffith. [http://www.geocities.com/gcalla1/war.htm] ] and even the planning of Operation Desert Storm. [ Paul K. Van Riper. [http://www.comw.org/qdr/fulltext/0603ripper.pdf] ] [Grant T. Hammond. [http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/jfq_pubs/2308.pdf] .] Leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, and General Douglas MacArthurhave claimed to have drawn inspiration from the work.
"The Art of War" has also been applied to
businessand managerial strategies. [ [http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/6378/17495/00808535.pdf 'Art of War for Business Management Strategic Planning'] ] [Floyd, Raymond E. 000100010000 [http://www.allbusiness.com/management/benchmarking-strategic-planning/338250-1.html] ]
The 13 chapters
The Art of War is divided into 13 chapters (or "P'ien"), and the collection is referred to as being one Ch'üan ("whole" or alternatively "chronicle"). As different translations have used differing titles for each chapter, a selection appears below. Lionel Giles' 1910 translation is considered the standard reference, but the other titles are, given the nature of translation, equally valid.
#Laying Plans explores the five key elements that define competitive position (mission, climate, ground, leadership, and methods) and how to evaluate your competitive strengths against your competition.
#Waging War explains how to understand the economic nature of
competitionand how success requires making the winning play, which in turn, requires limiting the cost of competition and conflict.
#Attack by Stratagem defines the source of strength as unity, not size, and the five ingredients that you need to succeed in any competitive situation.
#Tactical Dispositions explains the importance of defending existing positions until you can advance them and how you must recognize opportunities, not try to create them.
#Energy explains the use of creativity and timing in building your competitive momentum.
#Weak Points & Strong explains how your opportunities come from the openings in the environment caused by the relative weakness of your competitors in a given area.
#Maneuvering explains the dangers of direct conflict and how to win those confrontations when they are forced upon you.
#Variation in Tactics focuses on the need for flexibility in your responses. It explains how to respond to shifting circumstances successfully.
#The Army on the March describes the different situations in which you find yourselves as you move into new competitive arenas and how to respond to them. Much of it focuses on evaluating the intentions of others.
#Terrain looks at the three general areas of resistance (distance, dangers, and barriers) and the six types of ground positions that arise from them. Each of these six field positions offer certain advantages and disadvantages.
#The Nine Situations describe nine common situations (or stages) in a competitive campaign, from scattering to deadly, and the specific focus you need to successfully navigate each of them.
#The Attack by Fire explains the use of weapons generally and the use of the environment as a weapon specifically. It examines the five targets for attack, the five types of environmental attack, and the appropriate responses to such attack.
#The Use of Spies focuses on the importance of developing good information sources, specifically the five types of sources and how to manage them.
Before the bamboo scroll version was discovered by archaeologists in April 1972, the most cited version of "The Art of War" was the "
Annotation of Sun Tzu's Strategies" by Cao Cao, the founder of the Kingdom of Wei. In the preface, he wrote that previous annotations were not focused on the essential ideas. Other annotations cited in official history books include Shen You(176-204)'s "Sun Tzu's Military Strategy", Jia Xu's "Copy of Sun Tzu's Military Strategy", Cao Cao and Wang Ling's "Sun Tzu's Military Strategy".
Book of Sui" documented seven books named after Sun Tzu. An annotation by Du Mualso includes Cao Cao's annotation. Li Jing's "The Art of War" is said to be a revision of Sun Tzu's strategies. Annotations by Cao Cao, Du Mu and Li Quanwere translated into the Tangut languagebefore 1040 AD.
After the movable type printer was invented, "The Art of War" (with Cao Cao's annotations) was published as a military text book, known as "
Seven Military Classics" with six other strategy books. A book named "Ten Schools of The Art of War Annotations" was published before 1161 AD.Fact|date=May 2007
As a required reading military textbook since the
Song Dynasty, Seven Military Classics (武經七書，武经七书) has many annotations. More than 30 differently annotated versions of this book exist today. Vernacular Chinesebecame increasingly popular in the late 1920s. Annotations in Vernacular Chinese began to appear after this time. Some of these works were translated from other languages, such as Japanese.Fact|date=May 2007
The two most common traditional Chinese versions of the "Art of War",(the "Complete Specialist Focus" and "Military Bible" versions) were the sources for early translation into English and other languages. It was not until the 1970s that these works were compiled with more recent archeological discoveries into a single more complete version in Taipei. The resulting work is known as the "Complete Version of Sun Tzu's Art of War" for the National Defense Research Investigation Office has been the source for more recent and complete translations.
Verses from the book occur in modern daily
Chinese idioms and phrases, such as the last verse of Chapter 3:
:"So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself."
This has been more tersely interpreted and condensed into the modern proverb:
: 知己知彼 百戰不殆 （知彼知己，百战不殆）
:"If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can come out of hundreds of battles without danger."
Many people interpret this sentence as 'If you know both sides, you will win a hundred times in one hundred battles. (知己知彼 百戰百勝)'. This translation is incorrect. The word '殆' in Chinese means 'danger'. '百' in this sentence is better interpreted as 'numerous' rather than 'hundred'.
Furthermore, knowing both sides doesn't guarantee winning. '知己知彼 百戰百勝' ('If you know both sides, you will win a hundred times in one hundred battles') is untrue since in the beginning paragraph of chapter four, Sun Tzu wrote 'Hence, we can well predict who would win but there is no strategy guaranteeing winning (故曰: 勝可知，而不可為。)'. The reason of the uncertainty is quite simple. How about dealing with the opponent who knows both sides better than you do?
Similar verses have also been borrowed -- in a manner construing skillfulness as victory "without fighting" -- for example:
:"Therefore one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skillful. Seizing the enemy without fighting is the most skillful."
And, the most famous quotation (chapter 1, paragraph 18):
:"All warfare is based on deception."
:"Never will those who wage war tire of deception."
East Asian countries, "The Art of War" was part of the syllabus for potential candidates of military service examinations. Various translations are available.
During the Sengoku era in
Japan, a daimyonamed Takeda Shingen(1521–1573) is said to have become almost invincible in all battles without relying on guns, because he studied "The Art of War". [Griffith, pp. 172–173 ISBN 0195014766] The book even gave him the inspiration for his famous battle standard " Fūrinkazan" (Wind, Forest, Fire and Mountain), meaning fast as the wind, silent as a forest, ferocious as fire and immovable as a mountain. [ [http://www.city.hokuto.yamanashi.jp/hokuto_wdm/html/sight-sec/51004619143.html Furinkazan Archtectural Pavilion／北杜市 ] ]
Samuel B. Griffithoffers a chapter on "Sun Tzu and Mao Tse-Tung" where "The Art of War" is cited as influencing Mao's "On Guerilla Warfare", "On the Protracted War", and "Strategic Problems of China's Revolutionary War" and includes Mao's quote: "We must not belittle the saying in the book of Sun Wu Tzu, the great military expert of ancient China, 'Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a thousand battles without disaster.'" [Griffith, p. 50 ISBN 0195014766]
Vietnam War, some Vietcong officers studied "The Art of War", and reportedly could recite entire passages from memory.
The Department of the Army in the United States, through its Command and General Staff College, has directed all units to maintain libraries within their respective headquarters for the continuing education of personnel in the art of war. "The Art of War" is specifically mentioned by name as an example of works to be maintained at each individual unit, and staff duty officers are obliged to prepare short papers for presentation to other officers on their readings. [cite book | last = Army | first = U. S. | year = no date (1985?) | title = Military History and Professional Development | publisher = Combat Studies Institute | location = U. S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas | id = 85-CSI-21 85 "The Art of War" is mentioned for each unit's acquisition on page 18, "Military History Libraries for Duty Personnel"]
"The Art of War" is listed on the Marine Corps Professional Reading Program (formerly known as the Commandant's Reading List). [http://www.mcu.usmc.mil/ProDev/ProfReadingPgm.htm]
Applicability outside the military
Since at least the 1980s, "The Art of War" has been applied to fields well outside the military. Much of the text is about how to fight wars without actually having to do battle: it gives tips on how to outsmart one's opponent so that physical battle is not necessary. As such, it has found application as a training guide for many competitive endeavors that do not involve actual combat.
The book has gained popularity in corporate culture; there have been a variety of business books written applying its lessons to "
office politics" and corporate strategy. [Sunzi; Michaelson, Gerald. "Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers; 50 Strategic Rules." Avon, MA: OH:Adams Media, 2001] [McNeilly, Mark. "Sun Tzu and the Art of Business : Six Strategic Principles for Managers. New York:Oxford University Press, 1996.] [Krause, Donald G. "The Art of War for Executives: Ancient Knowledge for Today's Business Professional." New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1995.] Many Japanese companies make the book required reading for their key executives. [Kammerer, Peter. "The Art of Negotiation." South China Morning Post (April 21, 2006) pg. 15] . The book is also popular among Western business management, who have turned to it for inspiration and advice on how to succeed in competitive business situations.
"The Art of War" has also been the subject of various law books [Barnhizer, David. THE WARRIOR LAWYER : POWERFUL STRATEGIES FOR WINNING LEGAL BATTLES (Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Bridge Street Books, 1997)] [Harris, Paul. WARRIOR LAWYER (San Francisco, CA: Paul Harris (self-publication, 1991) ] and legal articles on the trial process, including negotiation tactics [ Ashley, Fred T., “The Art of War, Litigation and Mediation”, Ashley Mediation Centers, http://www.socalmediator.com/theartofwar.htm ] [ St. Marie, Ronald M., “The Art of Litigation: Deception and Settlement- The Application of Sun Tzu's Ancient Strategies of War to the Law” Chan Law Group, 2002, http://chanlaw.com/litigation.htm ] and trial strategy. [ Balch, Christopher D., “The Art of War and the Art of Trial Advocacy: Is There Common Ground?” (1991), 42 Mercer L. Rev. 861-873 ] [ Beirne, Martin D. and Scott D. Marrs, “ [http://library.findlaw.com/2005/Dec/28/231115.html The Art of War and Public Relations: Strategies for Successful Litigation] ”) ] [ Gordon, Gary, J., “ [http://184.108.40.206/news_pubs/article_detail.cfm?ARTICLE_ID=3894&ARTICLE_TYPE_ID=2 Slaying the Dragon: The Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses] ”, Rider Bennett LLP website) ] [ Pribetic, Antonin I., "The Trial Warrior: Applying Sun Tzu's The Art of War to Trial Advocacy" (April 21, 2007, http://ssrn.com/abstract=981886 ] [ Solomon, Samuel H., “The Art of War: Pursuing Electronic Evidence as Your Corporate Opportunity” Doar Litigation Consulting website article http://www.doar.com/apps/uploads/literature13_art_of_war.pdf ] [ Wallo, William E., “Rambo in the Courtroom: Sometimes it Pays to be Confrontational” http://www.walloworld.com/pdf/rambo_courtroom.pdf ]
It has also crept its way into sport:
Australian cricketcoach John Buchanan handed out excerpts from the book to his players before a match against Englandin 2001, and the book is allegedly a favorite of University of South Carolinafootball head coach Steve Spurrier.
Luiz Felipe Scolariuses the book to plot his Soccer strategy. In the 2002 FIFA World Cup he gave each of his players copies. In the recent 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany he used the book to plan his team's win against England. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/03/AR2006070300777.html 'Portugal Gets Big Moment Instead of Brazil'] ]
It had been reported what the
Aryan Brotherhoodlet their new recruits read and study "The Art of War" and " The Book of Five Rings" before they made them new members.
On the popular
reality televisionshow "", participants were given copies as a source of strategy and advice. It has found use in political campaigningas well; Republican election strategist Lee Atwaterclaimed he travelled everywhere with it. [ [http://www.jan-collins.com/Library/atwater_profile.pdf 'What Lee Atwater Knows About Winning'] ]
Some have also interpreted "The Art of War" as providing methods for developing social strategies, such as social relationships, maintaining romantic relationships, and seduction.Fact|date=June 2007 The book stresses subtlety and always making it appear like one is trying to achieve something other than one's actual intention.
The use of individual quotations from the book as a source of
fortune cookie-like proverbs and not seeing the general coherence of the text has been criticized by many scholars of Chinese history.Fact|date=June 2007
The book has also gained influence among players of
strategy games, including TCGs, collectible miniatures games, and real-time strategy games.Fact|date=June 2007
Depiction in media
"The Art of War" has been frequently mentioned in popular media such as film and television. Below are a "few" examples of this.
*"The Art of War", by Stephen Jeffreys, is a dramatic interpretation incorporating recitations from the text with the telling of two stories: one of a US commander in the Iraq War and the other of a group of Australian company executives. The play was specially commissioned by the
Sydney Theatre Companyfor their resident "Actor's Company" of twelve actors. It was first performed in May 2007.
*In the 1987 film "Wall Street", the main antagonist,
Gordon Gekko(played by Michael Douglas), says: "I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, "The Art of War". Every battle is won before it is ever fought." His protegé, Bud (played by Charlie Sheen), comes back after reading the text and says: "All warfare is based on deception. If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him. If equally matched, fight and if not: split and re-evaluate," to which Gekko smiles in approval.
Wesley Snipesfilm "The Art of War" was named after the book. Snipes is also seen (as a different character) reading the book in his 1992 movie " Passenger 57".
*The protagonist of the 1999 film "", played by
Forest Whitaker, makes frequent reference to the text, as well as the " Hagakure", upon which he bases his philosophy.
*A passage from the "Art of War" is recited in the
James Bondfilm " Die Another Day" by Colonel Tan-Sun Moonand General Moon in the final scenes of the film. The book itself also appears during the fight between Miranda Frostand Jinx.
*The 2003 movie, "
Gigli", quotes many of the philosophies in this book.
*The 2007 Bring It On: In It to Win It, fourth film for the Bring It On franchise shows that the East Coast Jets Cheerleading Squad, captained by Brooke (Cassie Scerbo) is reading Art of War. She is reading the book for new strategies on how to win from their rival team West Coast Sharks Cheerleading Squad. Due to a twist of fate the two teams are combined and they are constantly using the book for strategies against the rival Camp Victory.
*In the 2003 animated adaptation of the '
Teen Titans' comic book series, General Immortusquotes the text in the episode 'The Homecoming: Part 2', where he observes the Doom Patrolcrossing a vast desert and calls to mind the verse "Strike when your enemy is at his weakest, when he is mired in self-doubt, and your victory will be assured." He also later remarks that Sun Tzuwas "one of (his) best students".
*The "Art of War" is referenced multiple times as a tool for business strategy in "Smallville"
* The "Art of War" also figures prominently in the plot resolution of the 1987 "" episode, "The Last Outpost," wherein the last verse of Chapter 3 is rendered as "Know your enemy and know yourself and victory will always be yours." It is also said that "The Art of War" is required reading at
anime' Grenadier - The Senshi of Smiles', Rushuna and her nation hold the policy of winning by dissolving an enemy's will to fight and thus avoiding combat altogether as the ultimate battle strategy.
*In the five-part "
GI Joe" episode, "Arise Serpentor," one of the DNA's that must be retrieved by Cobra in order to genetically construct Serpentor is that of Sun Tzu.
*In the "
Family Guy" episode, " A Hero Sits Next Door," Stewie Griffinis reading "The Art of War", commenting that it is exquisite, until Lois Griffin, Stewie's mother, takes the book away.
Tony Soprano, the lead character in The Sopranos, praises the utility of "The Art of War" in a number of episodes. [ http://www.sonshi.com/steindorff.html ]
*On the August 29, 2008 edition of "
WWE Smackdown", wrestler The Brian Kendrickand his bodyguard Ezekiel Jacksonwere seen in a promo reading "The Art of War". Kendrick then referenced combining various philosophies from the book's chapters and combining them into a strategy for winning the WWE Championship. Kendrick's philosophy was "There's a fine line between genius and insanity, but if you know how to walk that line, no one can stand in your way." [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrPCwh-FXtA]
*In the Anime "Full Metal Alchemist" the episode titled "Full Metal vs Flame" The Flame Alchemist refers to the second chapter "Waging War" when The Flame is fighting Full Metal quoting "if you opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him" by antagonizing Full Metal about his physical size. [http://www.tv.com/fullmetal-alchemist/fullmetal-vs.-flame/episode/395450/trivia.html]
Brøderbund Softwarepublished two games based on Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". The first, entitled " The Ancient Art of War", and the second, " The Ancient Art of War at Sea". They are primarily simulation games, incorporating elements of strategy, geography and adventure. They were released on a number of computer platforms including Apple II(First title only), Macintosh, and DOS. The first title was written by Ronald G. Helms.
Sid Meier's "Civilization" computer game series, "Sun Tsu's Art of War" or "Military Academy" is one of the fictional "World Wonders" that can be created, giving the owner several temporary military advantages.
* A second
Sid Meiersimulation, " Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri", uses an excerpt from "The Art of War" as a narrative explanation of military intelligence gathering during a cutscene for the construction of a specific secret project.
* In the "
Total War" series computer and video games, by The Creative Assembly, much of the AIin the earlier (and to some extent, later) games in the series were programmed based on Sun Tzu's stratagems in "The Art of War". Passages from the book were also quoted on the "" loading screens and were frequently mentioned in .
MMORPG" Eternal Lands" has a special day named after Sun Tzu, on which players receive more experience points for attack and defence.
* In The Video game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the art of war is sometimes quoted when you die, along with several other quotes from other military and government leaders.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmonyreleased a double disc album entitled The Art of War with a guest appearance by the late Tupac Shakur
30 Seconds to Mars(an American Progressive-Rock band) quotes lines from the book at the end of their debut self-titled CD released 2002 by Virgin Records.
* "The War of Art" is the title of the major label debut album by acclaimed
industrial metalact American Head Chargeproduced by Rick Rubin.
*Chinese American rapper
Jinquotes the book in one of his songs.
*The Swedish metal band Sabaton released the album "The Art of War" in 2008, partially based upon the book. Limited edition of this album also included the book itself.
Talib Kwelireferences "The Art of War" in his song "Talk to You" on the album Quality.
Nasreferences "The Art of War" in his song "Nazareth Savage" on the album Street's Disciple.
Sun Tzu is attributed with having a grandson
Sun Binwho wrote another treatiseon military strategy often called "The Lost Art of War" or "The Art of Warfare". Sun Bin or Sun Pin as he is sometimes called is also known as Sun Tzu II. The following are some published texts in this area:
*This book by Thomas Cleary is a translation of the sequel to Sun Tzu's classic strategic manual.
*This book by Ralph Sawyer is a translation of work written by the purported great-grandson of Sun Tzu in the 4th Century.
* "Mastering the Art of War" - Memoirs and notes by famous Chinese military strategists
Zhuge Liangand Liu Ji. This book details Zhuge and Liu's personal opinions and comments regarding Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". Translated by Thomas Cleary.
ources and translations
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/132 Text link] (reprint; Giles translated the book in 1910). The translation by Giles is one of the most widely used today. Giles provided the first "good" translation of "The Art of War", as well as providing the first translation by a serious linguist.
*, includes the Yin-ch'ueh-shan (Silver Sparrow Mountain) texts
* This edition was published as a tie-in with Clavell's Asian Saga; it is essentially a re-working of the Lionel Giles translation.
* This translation tries to put The Art of War in its original context as a work of military strategy. It also includes a lengthy introduction and translations of some of the "bamboo strips" recovered from the shrine.
* This translation contains two parts. The first part is a completely unadorned, raw version of the core text. The second part is that same text with Chinese commentators as well as others.
*This book is written by General Tao Hanzhang, a senior officer in the People's Liberation Army. He is a senior advisor at the Beijing Institute for International Strategic Studies.
*This text is not a new interpretation of same texts that other editions are based on. Mr. Huang writes a new text based on manuscripts recently discovered in Linyi, China that predates all previous texts by as much as 1000 years.
*This book is written by Samuel B. Griffith, Brigadier General (retired), U.S. Marine Corps., with a foreword by Sir B. H. Liddell Hart. "Wu Ch'i's Art of War" in six chapters is appended.
*This book written by Donald Krause is interpreted for today's business reader.
*This book by Ralph Sawyer is a culmination on various Chinese strategic texts.
* Aimed mainly (but not exclusively) at the martial artist, Kaufman's rendition of Sun Tzu's work was written from the perspective of a "Hanshi" ("teacher of teachers").
* Winner of a 2003 Independent Publishers Book Award for Multicultural Nonfiction. [http://www.independentpublisher.com/action.lasso?-Database=18news.fp3&-Layout=iparticle&-RecordID=39146&-Response=art2.lasso&-Search]
* Sun Tzu translated by Paul Brennan (2007). "The Art of War for Martial Artists". Odos Books. 2007. ISBN 978-1-60402-416-6
*Sun Tzu translated by
Victor H. Mair(2007). "The Art of War: Sun Zi's Military Methods". Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-13382-1
The Seven Military Classics
List of military writers
Thirty-Six Stratagems", another Chinese strategy book
Philosophy of war
The 33 Strategies of War"
The 48 Laws of Power"
The Book of Five Rings"
* [http://www.thoughtaudio.com/titlelist/TA0003-War/index.html The Art of War] free mp3 audio download from [http://thoughtaudio.com/ ThoughtAudio.com]
* [http://www.archive.org/details/art_of_war_librivox "Art of War" audio book] , public domain solo recording by Moira Fogarty at Internet Archive
* [http://publicliterature.org/books/art_of_war/xaa.php Art of War] - English translation with embedded audio.
* [http://www.artofwarsuntzu.com/SunTzuEBook.htm Free Sun Tzu E] , Free e-book PDF
* [http://www.tickerspy.com/go.php?ru=70418 The Art of War Online English Version]
* [http://www.theaow.info/china/ About Sun Tzu and the Art of War] , in Chinese and English
* [http://suntzusaid.com/ Sun Tzu Said] English translation with cross-referenced index, reader comments, online book reader
* " [http://www.sonshi.com/learn.html Sun Tzu The Art of War] " Translation by Sonshi with many readers' interpretations
* [http://www.victoryoverwar.com Sun Tzu the Art of War text (with recorded Mandarin speech), Denma translation]
* " [http://www.artofwarsuntzu.com/suntzuandhollywood.htm Sun Tzu and Hollywood] " on how the appearance of the book in movies influenced the number of books sold
* [http://odosbooks.com/The%20Art%20of%20War.htm The Art of War for Martial Artists] an interpretation by Paul Brennan in English and Chinese.
* [http://dummipedia.org/wordpress/?p=26 Sun Tzu’s Art of War Exposed!] Why was "The Art of War" published if it is so potent and could benefit the enemy?
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