The Art of War (Old Version) Book Summary - The Art of War (Old Version) Book explained in key points
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The Art of War (Old Version) summary

Sun Tzu

Classic military strategy for politics, business, and everyday life

4.1 (1243 ratings)
11 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.

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    The Art of War (Old Version)
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    The Art of War and its historical context.

    Let’s start by putting The Art of War and its author into context by rewinding 2,500 years. It’s the fifth century BCE, a period marred by battles between different warring states in China. Among those leading and advising in these battles was Sun Tzu – and he was winning a lot

    He was a Chinese general, military strategist, and writer – and all of his victories inspired his military treatise. Yes, this is a book about war. But you’ll find that the ideas in it focus more on alternatives to actual fighting – like submission (if only temporary). 

    The book has 13 chapters, each with a lot of bullet points rather than prose about war tactics. You’ve already gotten a huge spoiler, which is that you should “pick your battles” – and that a war is best won without any fighting at all.

    But before we dive into this, let’s touch on the 13 chapters. They’re about making plans, the economy of warfare, the five pillars of a strong united front, the importance of defending your position, how to use creativity on the field, how to quickly respond to changes, the dangers of direct conflict, the need for flexibility, evaluating the intention of others, the three areas of resistance, the nine stages of a campaign, how to employ weapons correctly, and utilizing good information. 

    A lot of the material has to do with using the landscape and your army’s resources to your advantage. If you want the details of each, we recommend you get the book and read it. But if you want to learn how to be a good leader based on this book, stay with us. 

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    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.

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    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:
    • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    • The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
    • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
    • Sun Tzu and the Art of Business by Mark R. McNeilly
    • The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
    • The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
    • The Daily Laws by Robert Greene
    • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
    • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
    • Liftoff by Eric Berger