A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5
The Art Of War by Sun Tzu (REVIEW)
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.If you know yourself but not the enemy,for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.If you know neither the enemy nor yourself,you will succumb in every battle.”
-Sun Tzu (544 BC - 496 BC)
Much like Jesus Christ and William Shakespeare, there are many who dispute that there was ever a real person named Sun Tzu that lived and wrote military treatises (treatii?). These doubters point to the The Commentary Of Zuo - held to be the most comprehensive account of the Spring and Autumn period, during which Sun Tzu purportedly lived - not mentioning his name even once. Furthermore, the surname “Sun Wu” roughly translates to “fugitive warrior”, which would lead one to believe that perhaps the man was merely an amalgamation of several military generals who existed at the time. Sun Bin, for instance, is seen by many as a potential inspiration for the character Sun Tzu. Regardless of whether Sun Tzu actually existed, though, the advice offered in The Art Of War is of great importance to anyone who wishes to learn more about how to conduct oneself while trudging through the most dangerous battlefield there is - Earth (and no, I am not talking about this movie, which is nothing but an absolutely atrocious piece of propaganda put out by the Church of Scientology and starring one of its most familiar celebrity representatives, John Travolta). ↩︎
Now that we’ve got that squared away, let us discuss the merits of the advice offered throughout this text - advice that, despite being dressed up in military terminology, extends far beyond the realm of traditional warfare. I mean, there is a reason why everyone from Mao Zedong and Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf to Bill Belichick and Tony Soprano have sworn by this thing. It provides practical knowledge that can be applied to virtually any situation in which there is a degree of competition involved (even if the competition is not particularly of an aggressive nature, such as a game of Go Fish or a hot dog eating contest [as a matter of fact, I would find it hard to believe that a guy like Kobayashi does not sleep with this book under his pillow or something])
If you have not read it, and you wish to avoid being taken advantage of in this life, then go out and get yourself a copy as soon as possible; it’s a matter of survival, my friend.