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Publisher's Summary

Born over 2,400 years ago, warrior, thinker, and leader Sun Tzu lived during a time of great internecine conflict in China. A classic of Chinese literature, Art of War reveals the strategies, tactics, and insights that lead to success. Mastery of warfare and the maintenance of power are the most important values in Sun's philosophy, without which there can be no peace or life. According to Sun, studying your enemy, detecting his weakness, allowing him to expose himself and then acting accordingly is the key to success. But, it is perhaps even more important to master the skill of winning without fighting.

Sun's battle-proven strategies have been put into practice by countless leaders, from Mao Tse-tung to Napoleon to the planners of Operation Desert Storm. Filled with practical wisdom and strategy, Art of War is an indispensable guide for anyone who want an edge over the competition. With powerful narration by Joe Mantegna, listeners are sure to be destined for greatness with this audibook.

Translation by Ralph D. Sawyer

©1994 Ralph D. Sawyer (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Scott
  • Roseville, CA, United States
  • 04-26-09

A True Classic Must Read Book

This small book boils clever warfare down to a few simple lessons. (These are later discussed to add depth to the book and give context - a true bonus) Many Japanese say "business is war" which is why explains why many so many corporate people have read this book. Common sense, which is not so common, is timeless. Thus, so are the lessons in the book. Well read, very well re-explained in case you didn't understand it all. This belongs on any true reader's MUST READ list. (It isn't even very long.) Don't kid yourself just hearing it won't automatically get you a raise or a coveted position, but it might get your mind thinking along the truly sneaky ways any good general should think. (Many people are naturals at that kind of nastiness without need of some book.) If nothing it is a wonderful bit of history about a truly timeless subject, war. Oh yes, well read and produced! (My "code word" for "no-gross artifact-of-voice-narration-mouth-noises.) It is one of those books that the "well read" should to be able to speak of with pride.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • 09-30-04


Interesting from a historic perspective. The first part contains Sun Tzu's 13 principles. The rest of the book talks about historic battles (mostly Chinese battles) and the application of these principles.

36 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not The Art of War

So they only read an abridged type version of The Art of War which is well narrated but then the rest of the book is badly read and is someone's history lecture. I ended up buying a different The Art of War so that I could listen to the actual book I intend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Janet
  • SURF CITY, NC, United States
  • 12-12-12

Great Book. Dry but informative.

Would you consider the audio edition of Art of War to be better than the print version?

Yes definitely.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The intro and outro. Least was some of the diction.

What does Joe Mantegna bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Personality and enthusiasm.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

How to Fight

Any additional comments?


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Rhonda
  • Colorado Springs, CO, USA
  • 04-05-07


I thought the book was of great genius and a great find. I am glad I got it because it will probably be able to help me in a great many things. I suggest any should read this book( provided you know the vocabulary) or listen to this audiobok.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

For Chinese History Buffs; not Management

This is a good book for those interested in Chinese military history. I picked it up as more of a book on strategic management and didn't learn much, if anything.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joe
  • Philadelphia PA
  • 01-20-08

read the book

I have to say this book does not lend itself well to listening - especially if you are driving as I was when I obtained this audio book. There are many parts where I had to think about what was being said - not good if your driving. I think to get the most out of the Art of War, its better if you read the book and digest it at your own pace.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Good Way to Introduce Yourself

I'd have to say that this audiobook is a good way to introduce yourself to "Art of War" but, if you'd like to really get a lot out of it, I'd recommend reading it also. Joe Montegna's reading is perfectly fine, but the text itself is structured in such a way as to not lend itself easily to oral recitation.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dieu
  • Plymouth, MI, USA
  • 11-05-07

Archaic Nonsense

Though there is a myriad of Sun Tzu-based books, this current iteration would be best served with one well-versed and solely enamored with Chinese military, language, history, and geography. As the allure of Sun Tzu is its application to the Western business word, I found this iteration as insightful and pleasurable as a colonoscopy.

3 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

History's first boring text book

I found this to be as boring as any college calculus text ever was. Maybe that's why I not a great leader.

2 of 15 people found this review helpful