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The Art of War

Classic military strategy for politics, business, and everyday life

By Sun Tzu
12-minute read
Audio available
The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Thousands of years old, The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise that is considered the definitive work of military tactics and strategy. It has greatly influenced military tactics as well as business and legal strategy in both the East and West. Leaders such as general Douglas MacArthur and Mao Zedong have drawn inspiration from it.

  • Anyone interested in the foundation of many military, business and legal tactics
  • Anyone who wants to understand how warfare was conducted thousands of years ago

Sun Tzu was a military general, strategist and philosopher during the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China in ca. 500 BC.

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The Art of War

By Sun Tzu
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Synopsis

Thousands of years old, The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise that is considered the definitive work of military tactics and strategy. It has greatly influenced military tactics as well as business and legal strategy in both the East and West. Leaders such as general Douglas MacArthur and Mao Zedong have drawn inspiration from it.

Key idea 1 of 8

Planning, calculating and comparing armies leads to victory.

If a state goes to war, it is fighting for its very survival. Hence, all efforts must be made to understand the art of war, and, in the event of war, that knowledge must be used to make plans.

The general who draws meticulous plans before battle will defeat the general who makes none. Therefore, you must always plan and deliberate before battle. By comparing the opposing armies on seven considerations, you can forecast victory or defeat:

  1. Which of the two rulers of the states at war commands complete accord and obedience from his people so that they will follow him even to their deaths?
  2. Which of the two generals is more capable?
  3. Which side has advantages of heaven and earth, meaning of circumstances like the weather, distances to be covered and the nature of the terrain?
  4. Which side enforces the discipline of its men more strongly?
  5. Which side has the stronger army?
  6. Which side has the better trained officers and men?
  7. Which side has more consistency in giving rewards and punishments to enforce discipline?

Carefully compare the army of your enemy to your own army so that you will know where he is strong and where he is weak. Then plan according to the circumstances. If you know your enemy and know yourself, you will always be victorious.

Planning, calculating and comparing armies leads to victory.

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