The Art of War Book Cover

The Art of War

Book by: Sun Tzu
Publishing Year: 1774
Reading time: Key takeways: Quotes:

What’s inside

‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu was originally written in the 5th century BC. It has then been translated and revised by many in recent times. The book serves as a guide on warfare for warriors. The book teaches various techniques to win over massive forces. The principles, although meant for warfare, can be applied in several other aspects of life. Hence, the book has stood the test of time.

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Lesson 1. Introduction.

Sun Tzu belongs to a family of warriors who served the Wu State for several centuries. He was the one who documented the teachings of his ancestors, and passed them onto generations of warriors to come. This book by Sun Tzu, ‘The Art of War’ has been studied and applied for many years. Many of the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte and other great Generals have used this knowledge during wars, which were undoubtedly victorious. 

Waging a war is a matter of life and death for both parties. It is the final test for the survival of entire communities. This is of utmost importance to the states, and hence must be dealt with, very delicately. 

The responsibility of a war lies upon the General. He is to be blamed for defeat. He is to be hailed for victory. Everything he does decides the fate of the nation, and every soul residing in it.

War is as much about planning and strategy, as it is about power and arms. Every battle requires meticulous planning. The best plan is the one that assures a win.

Although this book was written in the 5th century BC, the teachings are still valid to this day, and can be interpreted in many ways. The book is used by political leaders, military strategists, and businessmen alike. Let’s take a dive into the world of war.

Lesson 2. Victory and Defeat.

The only way to truly win a war is to avoid it.

Not even the best of warriors have been able to predict the outcomes of a war, for it is influenced by an infinite number of factors. The most victorious generals know when not to fight.

Wars are not to be raged based on anger and ego. The nations who did this, have seen their fate soon after. There should be a clear motive, and a worthy prize to be won in order to put your men on the verge of death. Stakes are high in wars. Monarchs change, motives fade away, but a kingdom once destroyed, never stands back up. 

The smart generals do not attack. They wait to be attacked upon. Be ready for defense against massive forces. Good defense is the most crucial element for victory. The enemy has as much reason to fight as you. They’ll lay traps, lure you in. Be firm, and take precautions against such tactics. Do not lead your army into a fight you would run away from.

Patience and foolishness mark the line between victory and defeat.

Lesson 3. The Leaders.

The General is the embodiment

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About the author

Sun Tzu Image

Sun Tzu is thought to have been a military general and adviser to the king of the southern Chinese state of Wu during the sixth century BCE. Although some modern scholars have called his authorship into doubt, the world’s most influential and enduring...

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Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. Introduction.
  • Lesson 2. Victory and Defeat.
  • Lesson 3. The Leaders.
  • Lesson 4. Espionage.
  • Lesson 5. Art of Deception.
  • Lesson 6. Adapt to Overcome.
  • Lesson 7. Managing Forces.
  • Lesson 8. Conclusion.
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In the summary of The Art of War book, there are 8 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. Introduction.
  2. Lesson 2. Victory and Defeat.
  3. Lesson 3. The Leaders.
  4. Lesson 4. Espionage.
  5. Lesson 5. Art of Deception.
  6. Lesson 6. Adapt to Overcome.
  7. Lesson 7. Managing Forces.
  8. Lesson 8. Conclusion.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu was published in 1774.

Once you've completed The Art of War book, We suggest reading out Kamala Harris as a great follow-up read.

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In the printed version of The Art of War book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

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