Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Review - The Art of War

The Art of War - Sun Tzu: This is an ancient Chinese book, translated into English and with foreword by James Clavell in 1981. It is interesting to note Sun Tzu has thought out many strategic and tactical elements of war 2500 years back, such as knowing one's own and the enemy's strengths beforehand, knowing when and how to attack, the costs and financing of wars, and to think about preparing for peace during war and vice versa. In the foreword, James Clavell indicates he would like to make this obligatory reading for all serving military officers, Presidents etc, and if he had the authority, he would mandate all generals to read it and take oral and written examinations on the chapters. That kind of comment set high expectations in my mind, but after reading through, I beleive military officers and generals would have come a long way without this book as well. It is a good book indeed, but I didn't get the feeling that eulogizing it to that degree was warranted. I was hoping to pick some quick tidbits on strategic thinking ideas for business, but I have to relate and apply the learning myself to draw parallels of war and business. Maybe some day I will get to it.

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