Review (Guest): The Art of War

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Sun Tzu (Author), Samuel B. Griffith (Translator), B. H. Liddell Hart (Foreword)

5.0 out of 5 stars A Serious Study

December 26, 2010

By Retired Reader (New Mexico) – See all my reviews

This English translation of this classic work by Sun Tzu is certainly an excellent one in that in addition to providing the original 13 “Chapters” of the original work it also provides the reader with considerable background that places this work in its proper context. It also provides commentary on specific portions of each chapter by Chinese scholars of Sun Tzu. All in all, the late Samuel B. Griffith has produced one of the more complete and carefully organized versions of, “The Art of War.” Any serious student of this classic work will find Griffith’s work an excellent resource.

The written Chinese language is ideographic not phonetic and consists of thousands of pictographic characters whose meanings often depend on how they are arranged and combined into compounds. Further, Chinese doe not employ Western style punctuation so it takes a good deal of skill and knowledge for a Western to know where to break Chinese texts into sentences and paragraphs. Griffith appears to have done an excellent job in translating the Sun Tzu texts into something understandable by an English reader.

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