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Publisher's Summary

Sun Tzu's The Art of War is a landmark achievement in the evolution of strategic thought. So universal and timeless are its tactics for pursuing a competitive advantage that some of the most notable people in government, sports, and the entertainment world have all quoted from its nearly 2500-year-old pages. These six expertly crafted lectures explore this classic's wisdom for staying nimble in an ever-changing environment and for maximizing reward while minimizing risk remains eternally fresh. As war and business become more mental and less physical, human intellect plays an ever greater role in competition-making Sun Tzu's strategies highly relevant to the information age.

Through a precise explanation of the original text and case studies, Professor Wilson examines how the seminal work's model of leadership has been applied-and misapplied-throughout the realms of war, politics, business, and beyond. You'll study the text's historical framework and then delve into the critical calculations that must be made prior to war-what Sun Tzu refers to as knowing the enemy, knowing ourselves.

By studying real-world examples, you'll come away understanding the qualities effective commanders must possess and the work's practical implications for outmaneuvering competitors in daily life. By taking this course, you will appreciate Sun Tzu's content on a far deeper level.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this course are those of the professor and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Wonderful

Any additional comments?

Great content with fantastic narration...I've been curious about this book for years but wasn't sure if it would appeal to me as a woman who's not that interested in warfare. So I'm glad to have chosen it as presented by Prof Wilson as he provides an interesting context that I would otherwise have missed and (most important) makes it an oh so likeable and engaging experience.

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Good Course

What about Professor Andrew R. Wilson’s performance did you like?

A great lecturer, Professor Wilson keeps the content interesting and relevant with his expressive style and mix of historical and contemporary examples.

Any additional comments?

Please note this audiobook doesn't include the text of the Art of War.

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  • SAMA
  • 11-12-2013

Art of War Boot Camp

Don't let the fact that this is the shortest one of the Great Courses discourage you from picking it up. It's worth listening to more than once, and its length encourages it.

This is a concise, educational and interesting buy. I was familiar with the Art of War, but the Professor, who has plenty of experience in the US military and a passion for the Art of War, quickly delivers the facts with efficient, no-nonsense lectures that keep you interested.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • 08-11-2013

A great course

The art of War was written in the 6th century BCE by Chinese General Sun Tzu. It is the oldest military treatise in the world. The book covers military strategy. This is a Great Course book by Professor Andrew R. Wilson. He explains the book and adds Chinese History at the time the book was written. The book is concise and as valid today as the day it was written. They are many quotes from this book. But mainly has five essentials for victory. Then General Tzu breaks these down in the section such as nine varieties of ground which are listed with explanation of each. Interesting to see how the book can be applied to business, government as well as the military. Wilson enhances the book with his insights and helping to place the book in history. It is a course that needs to be listened to many times. Well worth the read.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Carson B.
  • 12-02-2016

Listen to this before you read the Art of War.

This course helps to keep the Art of War in context. You won't regret listening to this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-11-2017

great breakdown of The Art of War

I really appreciated this lecture series. It was great knowing some background that this lecture was able to provide in addition to some information on translation. however the real awesome sauce of this lecture was the author's knowledge and breakdown of the material in The Art of War. Definitely worth the price.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Rother
  • 03-10-2017

Speedy Delivery

Wilson clearly understands the completeness of the Art of War. He emphasizes context when interpreting the work. Not chapter or proverb should be taken solely by itself. All the ideas are connected. His weakness is almost too much enthusiasm; his delivery is far too rapid. Rarely will he leave time for the listener to absorb and process what he says within a lecture; Wilson hasn't learned the art of the rhetorical pause. Clearly an expert who understands the intricacies of his subject, as the learner, I always felt a paragraph or point behind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wolf.
  • 22-03-2017

The gist of The Art of War, accurate explanation and vivid cases.

As a native Chinese, I have always been sorry for seeing so many misinterpretations when《孙子兵法》is translated into English and the other languages. After listening to the whole lecture, I'm happy to tell that the translation and the explanation are all accurate and loyal to the original edition.

The lecture is not conducted by the original order of The Art of War, professor Andrew R. Wilson picked up the main opinions of the book, explained them by combining several related chapters of the original book together, and added some vivid examples to help comprehend and apply. Really learned a lot!

Only one suggestion: It may be better if there are less political cases of China in the last class.
And also, if you want to learn more about The Art of War, read the original book and seek for more detailed explanation may help a bit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • PorterC
  • 13-02-2017

Brilliant.

Short, but packed with insight and enthusiasm. I will definitely listen to this one again and again to reveal more insights as I study the Art of War and other related texts. Well worth the time and investment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ted
  • 24-02-2016

Well Done

What made the experience of listening to The Art of War the most enjoyable?

The speaker is a master of understanding Sun Tzu. Highly recommend this to anyone trying to understand the Art of War. It is a great listen and great for all levels of understanding.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sabri sivan
  • 17-03-2015

Great lecture. And a companion to study sun tzu

This is not exactly a translation of art of war by sun tzu.
It's more of a companion for the study of sun tzu. Great context setting and amazing story telling. The authors Voice and intonation exhibits his passion for the subject and paints a memorable picture for a greater understanding of master Sun.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Greg
  • 11-08-2018

Engaged listening will be rewarded

Nuggets of wonder all over. Highly relevant context and application provided. So happy to have this important information. I loved this lecture.

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  • callum
  • 29-12-2016

loved ir

loved it all the great courses worth listening to 5 out 5 everytime looking forward to the next.

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  • Lance Johnson
  • 27-11-2016

Helpful book and guide

What did you like best about The Art of War? What did you like least?

I liked the fact that it tries or attempts to make the Art of War applicable to real life.

If you’ve listened to books by The Great Courses before, how does this one compare?

Good

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

Did The Art of War inspire you to do anything?

Listen to other courses.

Any additional comments?

I have read several different versions of Art of War, but never really grasped or remembered many ideas of the book. The problem with it is that it talks about abstract concepts which u may not understand, and as a result u may not grasp or remember those concepts. I felt this audiobook was helpful somewhat, but never really grabbed me. I suppose I required more illustration of those concepts, or more spoon feeding to understand some of these complex issues discussed in this book. Its like someone teaching u about vectors in physics which the Art of War and then Prof Wilson goes on to explain how u can use vectors to predict the course of ball u throw.

I really think for beginners there is an Art of War comic available on Amazon (not great), but the best way to learn Art of War is the book Sunzi speaks - it is a fantastic illustrated Art of War - then perhaps come to this audiobook.

After this I would recommend u read any of Robert Greene's books which really have a more practical example of many of the concepts of the Art of War.

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  • Manu
  • 27-10-2015

Andrew Wilson is ausome....

loved it, Andrew has a phenomenal passion for the subject matter and brings the book to life with some great real world examples.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful