Book Review on The Art of War By Sun Tzu


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Book Review on ‘The Art of War’ By Sun Tzu

The book ‘The Art of War’ is a must read for anyone who is interested in matters concerning war and its application in real life. The book seeks to ensure that its readers are aware about the ramifications that take place in daily life. Furthermore, it engages the reader in matters related to altercation as well as resistance. The author has made excellent use of advices and techniques that make it easily understood as has been witnessed in all its chapters. Sun Tzu has ensured aspects such as leadership and intelligence are used in dealing with life matters. The book has thirteen chapters and they all flow in an appropriate manner. It does not matter if one is in the field of education, politics or even business, as the book has valuable information for everyone. Over ninety percent of the readers of this book have approved it and recommended it to others to read. In each of the books chapters, the Sun Tzu has used different approaches in giving the best possible advice to his readers. Moreover, ‘The Art of War’ makes the reader engage in rational thinking, which is not common in most books. Those who are working in the military can find the book helpful as they think of ways of strategizing. It enables them to conduct and plan well for any matters that they deal with.

The most evident theme in this book is concerning leadership as has been witnessed in the various chapters. Various approaches are used by people in demonstrating their leadership capabilities. Sun Tzu believes that some people use leadership in order to accomplish tasks considered being impossible. The best definition of leadership is the ability of a person to relate well with the external and internal environment. They should also make sure that the resources, which exist, are maximized to produce the beneficial results. In turn, it will be easy to attain the goals, which have been set up by society as well as organizations. This means that leaders should have qualities such as sternness, intelligence, courage, wisdom, among other traits. According to Sun Tzu, leaders are required to be disciplined as this dictates how they will be viewed by other people. Also, it will ensure that they are punished due to lack of discipline and rewarded since they are disciplined. It does not matter what career path one has chosen as one should always be disciplined.

Sun Tzu believes that it is vital that people know their enemies as well as having trust in themselves. To explain this further, by having valuable knowledge about others, one will be assured of oneself. The latter means that one can either loose or win, if they do not know who or how their enemies function. It is possible that during battles, the chances of loosing are extremely high and this should not be the case. The advice provided by Sun Tzu is extremely helpful. It is mandatory that in competition, people are aware about who their opponents are. In other cases, the people who enter the competition are not sure about themselves and this is dangerous. Weaknesses and strengths of oneself and that of the opponent must always be known. Many people who have followed the advice of Sun Tzu believe that the latter is true.

Many notable men have been influenced by the ‘Art of War’ and they include; German General Staff and even Napoleon. The book was originally in Chinese, but this all changed in the year 1782, after it was translated into European languages. Also, many other people praise the book as it made them better leaders than they were before. General Douglas Mac Author and Mao Zedong are some of the people who were influenced after reading the book. Waging war is the title of the second chapter and it gives information regarding war. Sun Tzu claims that war is expensive and thus precautions have to be taken to control it. Those in war should take advantage of the resources provided by the enemies in order to achieve victory. The third chapter deals with an offensive strategy whereby, he advocates for capturing as opposed to destroying. Prolonging war should not be an option as it can make the enemies have a chance at achieving victory. In order to conquer over one’s enemies, wisdom and knowledge need to be known. One should know how to attack and to hide from the enemy. The latter is a skill, which should be learnt, as it makes it easy to win a war. Clever people avoid making mistakes during war and excelling is not hard for them to archive. In the fifth chapter, Sun Tzu talks about energy and how one can easily control crowds of people. The latter is what is referred to as conquering by dividing. Focus on capturing the strong and weak points of the enemy to win battles.

Weaknesses and strengths is the title of the sixth chapter whereby, those who enter war before the other have high chances of winning. The latter dictates the manner, which the enemy will approach the field. In the next chapter, Sun Tzu focuses upon what is known as maneuvering. The army should be disciplined during this critical stage in order to have advantage over the enemy. At this stage, the General should have come up with an effective strategy to win the war. Furthermore, the eighth chapter deals with variables, which are nine in total. The General should provide his army with valuable information they can use so as not to have the enemy attack them. In chapter nine, titled as marches, Sun Tzu is concerned with the movement of troops. The latter should always be far above than where their enemies are in order to have an upper hand in the matter.

The issue on terrain is dealt with in the tenth chapter whereby, Sun Tzu names the various types of terrain in war. Knowledge of a terrain helps in defeating the enemy due to matters concerning nature. Moreover, in the next chapter Sun Tzu focuses on the ground and the nine variables it is associated with. It deals with issues such as death, communication, and difficulty among others. The twelfth and thirteenth chapters deal with using fire to attack and deploying security agents respectively. One should always defend themselves when they are being threatened. Furthermore, those who have used secret agents and spies during war have always succeeded. In conclusion, Sun Tzu’s book ‘The Art of War’ is a must read as the advice given by him helps one in many ways in life.