I am not one to read military literature, but Art of War is one of those books that needs to be read. As I was reading this book, I kept feeling like a lot the things Sun Tzu spoke about could be applied to many aspects of life such as business, personal/romantic life, even politics not just war. It not only talks about tactics to plan and win a war but also ways to be intelligent about it. Art of War talks about thinking things through and considering your surroundings before taking action. That’s something we should always be considering: looking at the big picture rather than the outcome that we want to accomplish. He doesn’t focus solely on winning, but also know when to admit to defeat. Something many of us are reluctant to do in our lives.
The book also talks about how to determine if the war is worth winning or if it is better to come to a truce, compromise; basically the saying pick your battles applies here, something commonly heard among parents. It is about deciding what the best possible reality for the situation at hand through devices on planning the right strategy. It talks about choosing battle grounds, weapons, even the time of day. Art of War is a great book on many different levels.
One thing I enjoyed was the way it was written, while some may have seen it as hard to read, but the simplistic nature of the language made it easier to understand. Maybe it was the edition I was reading, but I found it fairly easy to grasp the concepts Sun Tzu was presenting. Everything was not all jumbled together, but separated neatly into individual sentences. I think if everything was paragraphed out it would be harder to grasp the concepts being presented. This is a book that you can read more than once and get something new out of it every time. I also enjoyed seeing some of the Chinese history that goes along with the military strategies that Sun Tzu speaks about. He uses both in an interesting way to where you aren’t realizing that you are reading about Chinese history, I know I didn’t the first time I read this.
Art of War may seem like a book not everyone will enjoy and that is true. It is a book worth reading and should be read, but not everyone will enjoy the book. It definitely is a niche market book, if you like mysteries or romance, you won’t be interested. On the other hand if you like military or philosophical reads, then this would be a good book to pick up and see what you can get out of reading it. While it is simplistic in sentence structure and somewhat easy to understand it is difficult to read in one setting. There is a lot of ideas and philosophies to take in at once.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Final Review: This is not a book for everyone, it is definitely a niche market. But if you want to read something outside of your normal, then check this book out.
Pro: Gives you a lot to think about regarding how you address situations in your own life.
Con: A lot of politic and military jargon to get through