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May 26th, 2003, 04:10 PM
Anyone who has ready any of Sun Tsu's "Art of War"? Is this a good 'investment' as research material?

May 26th, 2003, 04:39 PM
Yeah, I've read it. Is it good for research? Depends on what you want it for. I found it very enjoyable and excellent in terms of the philosophy of warfare. The philosophy and tactics discussed are pretty universal and can be used for armies throughout history. The book is often quoted today for a variety of purposes.

May 26th, 2003, 04:52 PM
I have noticed the references to it yes. What I want it for is battle tactics, warfare + philosophies on the war. I heard it was only a collection of metaphors or something...

I, Brian
May 26th, 2003, 05:54 PM
If you're in the UK, you can get it for aournf 99p from cheap bookshops who distribute the Wordsworth publishing library.

Make it part of a wider reading, though, to understand war. Make sure you identify which areas you need to research and then research them. Sounds simple but...

May 26th, 2003, 05:54 PM
I've read sections of it. The actual book is very small and it's written in a semi-poetic form. I would highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in writing fiction with a military component. Often the translations will diverge and insert a number of the translator's opinions or facts about the world this man lived in.

It doesn't get too much into tactics (ie. the how). It focuses on strategies and philosophies - for example: why a general must maintain strict discipline within his ranks. As an author you simply have to consider what would happen if a leader breaks one or two of Sun Tsu's rules.

May 27th, 2003, 10:05 AM
It depends on the culture imho, it is an interesting read but you might be better off with something like Vegetius's Epitome of Military Science or the works of Tacitus. Christine de Pizan's "Book of deeds of arms and of chivalry" may also be helpful.


May 27th, 2003, 03:09 PM
Thanks for all the great tips.

Btw: live in norway, no problems getting the book, but not that cheap...

May 27th, 2003, 03:19 PM

Not a great translation by the looks of it, and I don't know if it's abridged or not (I just ran a quick search), but at least it's free.

What kind of things would you like to take from The Art of War and use to make your writing better?

Vegetius is quite readable.