The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Book Review)

Suhail Umrani alias Raj

Here, I review the Art of War written by Sun Tzu. I intend that it is a minor contribution to one of the ancient books has produced in history. It resembles odd to me because more than a decade ago, I argued with one of the enthusiast comrades and my companion, Advocate Idrees Laghari, a prolific writer. We discussed the Art of War, which he addressed well.

The argument between us remained why Rasool Bux Palijo (one of the veteran politicians of Pakistan) has encouraged the Art of War among comrades? At that point, I could not figure it out. It was a win-lose situation for me. And I ultimately lost after understanding the context of the book, which narrates more potential strategies to tackle the conflicts in life than fight in the arena. I am therefore grateful to Idrees Laghari for advocating the agenda of the Art of War. And support for both Sun Tzu and Rasool Bux Palijo. Idrees Laghari applied the same tactics mentioned in the book of Sun Tzu. Today I consider the Art of War is the best read in my life, and I also exercise the Sun Tzu terms which Idrees Laghari applied.

From left to right Advocate Idrees Laghari, Ross Mahtani, and Suhail Umrani alias Raj at Lahore.

Quote from the book:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.”

The Art of War – Sun Tzu

The Art of War is traditional Chinese literature that was published about 2500 years ago. And the crux of the book primarily comprises of military operations. The book contains thirteen chapters. All chapters influence the reader and bequeath an impression that seems to be true in reality.

Chapters of the Art of War:

  • Lying Plans
  • Waging War
  • Attack by Stratagem
  • Tactical Dispositions
  • Use of Energy
  • Weak Points and Strong
  • Maneuvering an Army
  • Variation of Tactics
  • The Army on the March
  • Classification of Terrain
  • The Nine Situations
  • Attack by Fire
  • Use of Spies


The Art of War influences the world because of its diplomatic substance of military strategy. Many practitioners implement the tactics in business methods, or legal experts employ the same as the manual suggests. The book motivates real-life and enhances the capacity to manage conflicts and beyond.

The book has different translations. In 1905, a British author translated an initial version of the Art of War. However, the partial attempt made by him was not pleasing, and Lionel Giles translated the authentic version in 1910.

I read it in the Sindhi Language (a collection of articles linked to Rasool Bux Palijo), which remained initial session with the Art of War. I had a second experience in 2018 when I began studying the English version of the book. After that, I viewed the book the third time a few days ago to write this concise review.

Special Mentions:

Films and TV shows have referred to the name of the Art of War. Even in the Bard of Blood, a Netflix Series has stated the book in a scene where Balouch leader, Bashir Mari (Played by Habib Al Aidroos), asks the protagonist Kabeer Anand (Played by Imran Hashmi) about its reading. The scripture has fame, and this is an indication of the Art of War's popularity.

Essential teachings in the Art of War:

  • Many readers call it the Military Intelligence Bible, but it extends inspiring models for a successful life.

  • The Art of War shows us how to succeed in times of adversity. It also encourages us and guides us to life's goals.

  • The Art of War motivates you to believe in constant progress.

Final Note:

Initially, I perceived that the book is about fighting and military tactics on a battlefield, which proved wrong and in second and third consequential attempts. I realized that this book teaches us different strategies to handle agreeable or indisposed situations that occur in daily routine. The Art of War guides us to deal with consequences we domestically face or in other social surroundings.

I particularly recommend the book to all, including youth, the elderly, students, and practitioners.



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