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The Art of War/The Book Of Lord Shang

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The two political classics in this book are the product of a time of intense turmoil in Chinese history. Dating from the Period of the Warring States (403-221BC), they anticipate Machiavelli's The Prince by nearly 2000 years. The Art of War is the best known of a considerable body of Chinese works on the subject. It analyses the nature of war, and reveals how victory may b The two political classics in this book are the product of a time of intense turmoil in Chinese history. Dating from the Period of the Warring States (403-221BC), they anticipate Machiavelli's The Prince by nearly 2000 years. The Art of War is the best known of a considerable body of Chinese works on the subject. It analyses the nature of war, and reveals how victory may be ensured. The Book of Lord Shang is a political treatise for the instruction of rulers. These texts are anything but armchair strategy or ivory-tower speculation. They are serious, urgent and practical responses to the desperate situations in which they were written. They have been immensely influential both inside and outside China.


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The two political classics in this book are the product of a time of intense turmoil in Chinese history. Dating from the Period of the Warring States (403-221BC), they anticipate Machiavelli's The Prince by nearly 2000 years. The Art of War is the best known of a considerable body of Chinese works on the subject. It analyses the nature of war, and reveals how victory may b The two political classics in this book are the product of a time of intense turmoil in Chinese history. Dating from the Period of the Warring States (403-221BC), they anticipate Machiavelli's The Prince by nearly 2000 years. The Art of War is the best known of a considerable body of Chinese works on the subject. It analyses the nature of war, and reveals how victory may be ensured. The Book of Lord Shang is a political treatise for the instruction of rulers. These texts are anything but armchair strategy or ivory-tower speculation. They are serious, urgent and practical responses to the desperate situations in which they were written. They have been immensely influential both inside and outside China.

30 review for The Art of War/The Book Of Lord Shang

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fayçal

    The Art of War was an interesting read, I just couldn't finish the second part of this specific edition which is "The Book of Lord Shang" so am just skipping that. The Art of War was an interesting read, I just couldn't finish the second part of this specific edition which is "The Book of Lord Shang" so am just skipping that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    Now this is what I call a true classic! This book, as well as The Book of Lord Shang, preceded Machiavelli’s captivating masterpiece, Il Principe, by nearly 2000 years (I have to confess that I almost completely forget Il Principe’s contents, but I still remember that it was a captivating read). Back to Sun Tzu…Yes, some of his advices are already outdated and cannot be applied in the modern war. However, the others are, well, I should say mind-opening and inspirational, yet very simple. Want some Now this is what I call a true classic! This book, as well as The Book of Lord Shang, preceded Machiavelli’s captivating masterpiece, Il Principe, by nearly 2000 years (I have to confess that I almost completely forget Il Principe’s contents, but I still remember that it was a captivating read). Back to Sun Tzu…Yes, some of his advices are already outdated and cannot be applied in the modern war. However, the others are, well, I should say mind-opening and inspirational, yet very simple. Want some examples? Here you go. “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you’ll never be defeated. When you’re ignorant of the enemy but know yourself; your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are sure to be defeated in every battle.” If Hitler and General Tojo read this book, we’d all live in fascism now. If only Bush read this book, the war in Iraq will be over by now. Sun Tzu may taught us about war. But note this, he stressed that non-violent ways are better. This means employing effective politics, diplomacy and strategic considerations. He said: "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence." That’s my favorite quote. I also heart this one: "A sovereign cannot launch a war because he is enraged, not can a general fight a war because he is resentful. For while an angered man may again be happy, and a resentful man again be pleased, a state that perished cannot be restored, nor can the dead be brought to life." That statement breaks me heart, really…. considering what happens in the world today. Highly, highly recommended. I’ll give this book a solid five stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amr Swalha

    The greatest book of all books about war and how it's done. This book contains information not only about how to fight, also a psychological analysis of the enemy and it's troops. This book can teach you a lot about leadership and command and guiding your team to victory. The book at the begging is the original book of "The Art of War" then it goes to commentary about it. And there is also a a section for other chines writer "The Book of Lord Shang". I will go into details for the first part only: The greatest book of all books about war and how it's done. This book contains information not only about how to fight, also a psychological analysis of the enemy and it's troops. This book can teach you a lot about leadership and command and guiding your team to victory. The book at the begging is the original book of "The Art of War" then it goes to commentary about it. And there is also a a section for other chines writer "The Book of Lord Shang". I will go into details for the first part only: 1-The chapters are not too long and maybe couple of pages, but inside each one is wisdom in every line and every sentence. 2-The book take a logical approach to the war more than focusing on the force and power. 3-You will notice it list at the begging of each chapter different factors that need to be looked at and goes into further explanation of it. 4-Also, it make you think more of the different factors in your surrounding more while not forgetting the main objective.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jamille

    For all of the hype said about the Art of War i must say i was reasonably disappointed. However, if you take the time in which the book was originally wrote into consideration then i guess its a must read. The Art of War itself as other reviewers have wrote i would also give 3 stars, and even the Book of Lord Shang isn't too bad. However, what is bad and in my opinion ruins the book is the commentary and introduction. I usually enjoy reading these parts of books, as i get a modern day experts opi For all of the hype said about the Art of War i must say i was reasonably disappointed. However, if you take the time in which the book was originally wrote into consideration then i guess its a must read. The Art of War itself as other reviewers have wrote i would also give 3 stars, and even the Book of Lord Shang isn't too bad. However, what is bad and in my opinion ruins the book is the commentary and introduction. I usually enjoy reading these parts of books, as i get a modern day experts opinion on the topics. So in conclusion, the Art of War and the Book of Lord Shang are ok but the introduction and commentary and awful. So if your thinking about getting this book i would advise either simply not reading the introduction and the commentary, or get a different edition.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Churchill Osimbo

    The Art of War by Sun Tzu should be mandatory reading for anyone eyeing a future in leadership of any kind. The commentary (second part) where they give real life past and present examples and uses of Sun Tzu's principles is great. The third part however, written by another ancient Chinese warlord, The Book of Lord Shang, is repetitive, bordering on drilling. The wisdom of what is being drilled is invaluable though, mostly spins on Sun Tzu's doctrines with a more ruthless outlook, it was actuall The Art of War by Sun Tzu should be mandatory reading for anyone eyeing a future in leadership of any kind. The commentary (second part) where they give real life past and present examples and uses of Sun Tzu's principles is great. The third part however, written by another ancient Chinese warlord, The Book of Lord Shang, is repetitive, bordering on drilling. The wisdom of what is being drilled is invaluable though, mostly spins on Sun Tzu's doctrines with a more ruthless outlook, it was actually kind of funny. But it's hard to get through, you'll end up skipping several chapters at a go just to find him discussing the same things under different topics.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    This Edition from Wordsworth Classics is a real jackpot. It contains a very good translation by Yuan Shibing of 'Art of War' by Sun Tzu, a commentary on 'Art of War' by General Tao Hanzhang and another lesser known political classic 'The Book of Lord Shang' by Shang Yang translated by J.J.L Duyvendak all in a 242 page low priced paper back format. Both these political classics are worth reading as they give insights into a many aspects of strategy and life even if they deal mainly in the business This Edition from Wordsworth Classics is a real jackpot. It contains a very good translation by Yuan Shibing of 'Art of War' by Sun Tzu, a commentary on 'Art of War' by General Tao Hanzhang and another lesser known political classic 'The Book of Lord Shang' by Shang Yang translated by J.J.L Duyvendak all in a 242 page low priced paper back format. Both these political classics are worth reading as they give insights into a many aspects of strategy and life even if they deal mainly in the business of warfare.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sportyrod

    A classic written by a military adviser based during China’s Period of the Warring States (403-221 BC). The strategies are clear, short and insightful and give one or two historic scenarios to help convey the point. This advice would surely have helped win and avoid many a war. Even with satellites and more developed intellegence agencies of the new, this advice could easily help shape the direction of today’s conflicts.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adam Halilovic

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I started to read this book not just because it was considered a classic of ancient literature but I was curious to find out why it was a must read for all business men never mind I am not one myself. The text for the art of war was wonderful and the commentary by General Tao Hanzhang was good as well. It was easy to see how General Tao commentary was influenced by chinese communism and wasnt quite impartial but never the less referring it to ancient and modern battles help framed better what Su I started to read this book not just because it was considered a classic of ancient literature but I was curious to find out why it was a must read for all business men never mind I am not one myself. The text for the art of war was wonderful and the commentary by General Tao Hanzhang was good as well. It was easy to see how General Tao commentary was influenced by chinese communism and wasnt quite impartial but never the less referring it to ancient and modern battles help framed better what Sun Tzu was trying to illustrate. The book of Lord shang is a different story. I can see many ways that his philosophy on law mimics those of modern and past dictators. It's a one stop book of how to run a agrarian dictatorship and see that it might of influence chairman mao's vision for China.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin Wood

    This book is comprises of two separate books: The Art of War by Sun Tzu and The Book and Lord Shang by Shang Yang. Both individuals had separate insights on governing during turmoil Chinese empires. The Art of War has more so the nature of war (politics, weather, terrain, commander, and doctrine) and The Book of Lord Shang was basic concept and instructions on how to rule. Difficult read but insightful.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jean Paul

    It has been a while since I wanted to read this book. I thought it would be interesting to try a new topic, however, I stopped it before finishing it especially when got to the part of "The Book of Lord , but I got disapointed when started the second part. So overall, I would actually give the book a 1.5 stars rather than 1. It has been a while since I wanted to read this book. I thought it would be interesting to try a new topic, however, I stopped it before finishing it especially when got to the part of "The Book of Lord , but I got disapointed when started the second part. So overall, I would actually give the book a 1.5 stars rather than 1.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Yates Buckley

    An incredible historical document, that at times reads like a contemporary self help book. While the content might be somewhat generic and subject to various interpretations, the style and method of explaining war strategy is somehow timeless.

  12. 4 out of 5

    A Addam

    Attacking the world of wars through the two Grand Masters, Lord Shuan and Lord Sun Tsu, sculpted the logical fact of wars lavishly and excitingly. The master pieces and techniques offered by these two authors since thousands of years reflects authentically the tactics used by the most powerful countries of the modern world. Additionally, usage of historical examples gave the manuscript a beautiful line of knowledge specifically once referring each law of combat to a scenario of an ancient chines Attacking the world of wars through the two Grand Masters, Lord Shuan and Lord Sun Tsu, sculpted the logical fact of wars lavishly and excitingly. The master pieces and techniques offered by these two authors since thousands of years reflects authentically the tactics used by the most powerful countries of the modern world. Additionally, usage of historical examples gave the manuscript a beautiful line of knowledge specifically once referring each law of combat to a scenario of an ancient chinese war.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justin Covey

    This is a fantastic edition. I'd read the Art of War once before, I don't know what translation it was but it was inferior to this one by Yuan Shibing. The meaning and open ended nature of Sun Tzu's advice comes across much clearer here. This is further enhanced by the commentary by Tao Hanzhang which provides a bevy of fascinating historical examples of the principles laid out by Sun Tzu. Though, his attempts to make connections between Sun Tzu's beliefs and Maoism wear a bit thin. Finally the B This is a fantastic edition. I'd read the Art of War once before, I don't know what translation it was but it was inferior to this one by Yuan Shibing. The meaning and open ended nature of Sun Tzu's advice comes across much clearer here. This is further enhanced by the commentary by Tao Hanzhang which provides a bevy of fascinating historical examples of the principles laid out by Sun Tzu. Though, his attempts to make connections between Sun Tzu's beliefs and Maoism wear a bit thin. Finally the Book of Lord Shang is a fascinating look into the rationale of evil. While the insistence on meritocracy is worth praising, just about everything else laid forth in this book is abhorrent. These policies led directly to the great book burning of 213BC. A loss of history, culture, and thought on par with the loss of Alexandria or the Mongol sacking of Baghdad. Frightening to think that for a short while China was dominated by a philosophy which holds as central tenants that "virtue has it's origin in punishment" and "kindness has it's origin in force".

  14. 5 out of 5

    Muhammed

    To read the art of war and a commentary on it then follow it by the book of lord shang is priceless. Reading them opens your mind to really interesting views of many things. it enables you to have better understnading of life and military tactics and how to use them in life. i was more intrigued by the fact that while the book of lord shang containes many concepts of cruelty and what people may regard as dictatorships but truely it offeres me great insight in the current policies of the nations. To read the art of war and a commentary on it then follow it by the book of lord shang is priceless. Reading them opens your mind to really interesting views of many things. it enables you to have better understnading of life and military tactics and how to use them in life. i was more intrigued by the fact that while the book of lord shang containes many concepts of cruelty and what people may regard as dictatorships but truely it offeres me great insight in the current policies of the nations. the results for failures and conditions he addressed are without a doubt evident in all the dictatorships in our world today. it appears as if the rulers of the nations took the recipe for failure and instead of avoiding them, they decided to prove them correct. the language may be somehow difficult to an extent. I recommend this book to those who have read 1984 (Orwell) and the Prince (Michavielle)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jak

    I’m not sure what I really expected of ‘The Art of War’ I’ve wanted to read it for ages because I’d heard so much about it over the years. I guess I expected it to be a great philosophical thesis with profound insights that still bare true in modern society. There was some philosophising but not anything I haven’t already picked up elsewhere (whether that was derived from Sun Tzu I can’t say). So there was no great enlightenment or epiphany that made the book stand out in my mind Not having done I’m not sure what I really expected of ‘The Art of War’ I’ve wanted to read it for ages because I’d heard so much about it over the years. I guess I expected it to be a great philosophical thesis with profound insights that still bare true in modern society. There was some philosophising but not anything I haven’t already picked up elsewhere (whether that was derived from Sun Tzu I can’t say). So there was no great enlightenment or epiphany that made the book stand out in my mind Not having done anything militaristic nor reading many military books I can’t say how much relevance the actual advice for waging war retains today but as I read it I guessed that the invention of gunpowder had more or less made most of the tactics moot.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Isaiah

    The Wordsworth classic edition of the Art of War and the Book of Lord Shang, translated by J.J. Duyvendak and Robert Wilkinson is truly an amazing read. The translation for the Art of War was outstanding. The Art of War had added commentary by Tao Hanzhang. The commentary is interesting and includes historical examples of the ideals of the Art of War in action. The commentary also includes obsolete ideas from the Art of war. Unlike most books, the Art of War is short but requires reflection and The Wordsworth classic edition of the Art of War and the Book of Lord Shang, translated by J.J. Duyvendak and Robert Wilkinson is truly an amazing read. The translation for the Art of War was outstanding. The Art of War had added commentary by Tao Hanzhang. The commentary is interesting and includes historical examples of the ideals of the Art of War in action. The commentary also includes obsolete ideas from the Art of war. Unlike most books, the Art of War is short but requires reflection and rereads for even a partial understanding. The Book of Lord Shang is an interesting but a much more complicated read. There are parts where the text is downright confusing and others where text is missing. Unfortunately I did not have the patience to finish it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bee

    It would have gotten a much better review had they left out the other commentary. I can only assume that the publisher figured that it wasn't worth printing a whole lot of very thin books. It's got some valuable advice if you're willing to sit down and ponder how you can use the ideas in your own life. My favourite is this: "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be defeated." It's a bit overused, but honestly I see why. It would have gotten a much better review had they left out the other commentary. I can only assume that the publisher figured that it wasn't worth printing a whole lot of very thin books. It's got some valuable advice if you're willing to sit down and ponder how you can use the ideas in your own life. My favourite is this: "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be defeated." It's a bit overused, but honestly I see why.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zinnur Yesilyurt

    You should read this book if you want to thinking about life, world and strategies.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  20. 5 out of 5

    Darsh

  21. 4 out of 5

    Justin Compton

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Hemphill

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ane Munin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Arhan Jayaprakash

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stella Mutale

  28. 4 out of 5

    Safa Helal

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kabir Kassam

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abdi

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