This is a book I’ve read over and over for the past two years. It has been one of the main inspirations for my own book, The Newstead Project. Actually it isn’t a book at all; it’s more of a field guide for military operations.
And it’s brilliant.
The first copy I bought was a paperback, a rather thick paperback, so I thought it would be a long read. But most of that space is taken up with other people’s expounding on the original text, which tells me two things: Sun Tzu writes sparse (which I love) and this book has been at the center of discussions for many years.
The book itself is aimed to train up and comers in the art of war, but its wisdom reaches far beyond that. It’s really just a book of practical sense. Don’t set up camp in a swamp, dummy and don’t start a fight you can’t finish.
Okay, so maybe it’s a little more complex than that, but if someone with almost*zero military experience can get something out of it, than anyone can.
*The almost comes from the fact that I’m married to a man who served in the Army Reserves and loves anything military, therefore I’ve sat through my fair share of The History Channel and more than a few blood and guts movies.