Sun Tzu’s Art of War, compiled more than two thousand years ago, is a study of the anatomy of organizations in conflict. It is perhaps the most prestigious and influential book of strategy in the world today. Now, this unique volume brings together the essential versions of Sun Tzu’s text, along with illuminating commentaries and auxiliary texts written by distinguished strategists. The translations, by the renowned translator Thomas Cleary, have all been published previously in book form, except for The Silver Sparrow Art of War, which is available here for the first time. This comprehensive collection contains:
The Art of War: This edition of Sun Tzu’s text includes the classic collection of commentaries by eleven interpreters.
Mastering the Art of War: Consisting of essays by two prominent statesmen-generals of Han dynasty China, Zhuge Liang and Liu Ji, this book develops the strategies of Sun Tzu’s classic into a complete handbook of organization and leadership. It draws on episodes from Chinese history to show in concrete terms the proper use of Sun Tzu’s principles.
The Lost Art of War: Written more than one hundred years after Sun Tzu’s text, by Sun Bin, a linear descendant of Sun Tzu, this classic of political and military strategy is faithful to the principles of The Art of War, while developing their practical application much further.
The Silver Sparrow Art of War: A version of Sun Tzu’s Art of War based on a manuscript of the classic text discovered at a Chinese archeological site in China’s Shandong Province in 1972, which contains previously unknown fragments.
About The Art of War
Conflict is an inevitable part of life, according to this ancient Chinese classic of strategy, but everything necessary to respond to conflict wisely, thoroughly, and victoriously is right before us at all times. The key to skillful action in any situation is in knowing those things that make up the environment and then seeing the patterns they form so that their power becomes available to us. It is not necessary to change the nature of things to find victory. Since, as Sun Tzu teaches, aggression and response in kind can lead only to destruction, we must learn to work with conflict in a more profound and effective way. The Art of War shows us how.
The Art of War gives us proven strategic skills to apply when we need to take action and overcome obstacles in rapidly changing, chaotic situations. Though ancient in origin, these strategies are accessible because they are based on the ways we already do things. As Sun Tzu shows, rather than getting mired in conflict, we can create momentum and bring about the tipping point to achieve success.
Thomas Cleary holds a PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. He is the translator of over fifty volumes of Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian,… More about Thomas Cleary
“Thomas Cleary’s translation of The Art of War makes immediately relevant one of the greatest Chinese classical texts. There’s not a dated maxim or vague prescription in it. . . .You can throw out all those contemporary books about management and leadership.”—Newsweek