The Art of War (old version) Book Summary - The Art of War (old version) Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Art of War (old version) summary

Classic military strategy for politics, business, and everyday life

4.4 (736 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

The Art of War by Sun Tsu is a Chinese military treatise that provides tactics and strategies for winning wars. It emphasizes the importance of knowledge, deception and adaptability in warfare.

Table of Contents

    The Art of War (old version)
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7

    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.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Art of War (old version)?

    Key ideas in The Art of War (old version)

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Art of War (old version) about?

    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.

    The Art of War (old version) Review

    The Art of War (Old Version) (5th century BC) is a timeless masterpiece that provides valuable insights into strategy and warfare. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its ageless wisdom, the book offers practical advice on how to navigate the complexities of conflict and achieve victory.
    • It explores important concepts such as leadership, psychology, and strategic thinking, making it relevant to various aspects of life beyond the battlefield.
    • The book's concise and straightforward approach to strategy keeps readers engaged throughout, ensuring the content is never dull or boring.

    Who should read The Art of War (old version)?

    • 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

    About the Author

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

    Categories with The Art of War (old version)

    Book summaries like The Art of War (old version)

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Art of War (old version) FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Art of War (Old Version)?

    The main message of The Art of War (Old Version) is to achieve victory through strategy and understanding of the enemy.

    How long does it take to read The Art of War (Old Version)?

    The reading time for The Art of War (Old Version) varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Art of War (Old Version) a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Art of War (Old Version) is worth reading for its timeless wisdom on tactics and leadership.

    Who is the author of The Art of War (Old Version)?

    The author of The Art of War (Old Version) is Sun Tzu.

    How many chapters are in The Art of War (Old Version)?

    The Art of War (Old Version) has 13 chapters.

    1. Laying Plans
    2. Waging War
    3. Attack by Stratagem
    4. Tactical Dispositions
    5. Use of Energy
    6. Variation in Tactics
    7. The Army on the March
    8. Military Maneuvers
    9. Disposition of the Army
    10. The Nine Situations
    11. The Attack by Fire
    12. The Use of Spies
    13. Ground

    How many pages are in The Art of War (Old Version)?

    The Art of War (Old Version) contains 50 pages.

    When was The Art of War (Old Version) published?

    The Art of War (Old Version) was published in the 5th century BC.

    What to read after The Art of War (old version)?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Art of War (old version), here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
    • The Art of War (new version) by Sun Tzu
    • The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
    • The Daily Laws by Robert Greene
    • Sun Tzu and the Art of Business by Mark R. McNeilly
    • Get Better at Anything by Scott H. Young
    • The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
    • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
    • Mind Magic by James R. Doty
    • 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn