The Art of War by Sun Tzu

What to do when you have a toddler sleeping on you at midnight?  Read on your iPhone, naturally.  Thanks to a toddler tummy ache, I finished The Art of War by Sun Tzu around 1 A.M.  I can honestly say I was impressed with this book, even if it took me a while to finish it.  Granted, anything I read on my phone is going to take me a while in general, as it is my backup time filler reading (i.e. between  appointments, when my iPad is dead, etc.), so that is no slight on the book.

First and foremost, I feel I should tell you history isn’t my thing.  I should care, and I do, but honestly most just doesn’t sink in long-term.  My brain tends to automatically go to la-la land when people start discussing history.  It just isn’t something I get excited about, which is odd since this is a history book of sorts.  Nonetheless, I thought it was one of those books I should have read at some point so I did.

Secondly, I should admit I remembered some of the names/people from a video game, one of the Dynasty Warrior games for the PlayStation.  I think that makes me part Geek.  As sad as it is, it helped me visualize what was going on in the examples more clearly.

Because my brain was making however weird connections between the game and book already, it made further connections to other points in history I’ve lived through: presidential campaigns, U.S. turmoil, wars, etc.  I found myself even applying it to every day drama, which was interesting.

As my final point, I should tell you I hate trying to make connections in books and decipher meaning.  That’s why I’m not an English major.  I think some stretch it a little TOO far (OMG, why is he wearing maroon instead of teal?  What’s the meaning of maroon in the book?  Is it is theme?  blah blah blah).  I like to just read and enjoy the book as it.  If I think about it further, most excellent.  Thus, if I start making connections and thinking about it to find more connections and implications, that is a major feat accomplished.

So read it.

 

I saved a few quotes for myself.  I’ll end with my two favorites here.

All warfare is based on deception.”

[The meaning is: If two enemies will help each other in a time of common peril, how much more should two parts of the same army, bound together as they are by every tie of interest and fellow-feeling. Yet it is notorious that many a campaign has been ruined through lack of cooperation, especially in the case of allied armies.]”

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