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Overview

A Chinese text on military strategy that is over 2,500 years old, yet still revered today. According to Sun Tzu planning, strategy, access to information, and rationality are key building blocks to ensuring success in war.

 

3-minute overview
 

Introduction video

 

Synopsis

One of the most important military strategy books ever published, Chinese general Sun Tzu’s The Art of War has also been used as a manual for modern business, giving executives an insight into the vital importance of tactics and preparation.

Written more than 2,500 years ago, this earliest surviving work on how to wage war successfully—and above all, rationally—argues that winning requires careful advance planning, better sources of information than your opponent, and a strategy that’s flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions. Sun Tzu concludes that in the end a decision not to take military action can be every bit as sensible and effective as being able to triumph on the battlefield. The very best way to win a war is, in fact, to achieve your aims without having to fight at all.

Written in China around the sixth century b.c.e., The Art of War continues to inspire military planners worldwide, but also people who want to succeed in the fields of business, law, and management.

 

Original author

Born in the sixth century b.c.e., Chinese general Sun Tzu was a thoughtful, yet ruthless, military strategist. In a time of unrest and war, he proved himself on the battlefield, but clearly understood all the complexities of war—aware that tactics, profound knowledge, and rational thinking were every bit as important in securing victory as raw courage. Sun Tzu’s influence has lasted for more than 2,500 years, with military and business leaders still reaching for his book to gain an advantage over their opponents.