The Art of War
Author: Sun Tzu
Year Published: 6th Century BCE
Subject: Military Art
The classic book, The Art of War, is a required reading for any tactician though it’s principles go beyond military strategy. Most of the book is applicable in entrepreneurship, sport, investing, anything in which you are competing with others. It’s a short book—you can read it in one evening—nonetheless it’s packed with wisdom.
Notes, Quotes, and other things to remember
- The art of war, then, is governed by 5 constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.
- The Moral Law;
- The Commander;
- Method and Discipline
- Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory:
- He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
- He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.
- He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
- He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemu unprepared.
- He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
In music, 5 musical notes can give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. In cooking, 5 cardinal tastes can give rise to more flavors than can ever be tasted. In battle, there are 2 methods of attack—direct and indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.