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Download The Art of War: The Essential Translation of the Classic Book of Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Art of War: The Essential Translation of the Classic Book of Life, by Sun-tzu Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (67,861 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sun-tzu Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Art of War was brought to a western audience in the 18th century and was published for the first time in 1910, though it was originally written over 2500 years ago. Here in audio format it is narrated by Scott Brick and Shelley Frasier.

The Art of War is a text inspired by the ancient wisdom of Sun Tzu. Divided into thirty six treatises, there are commentary and footnotes corresponding to the treatises which are read by the narrators, as well. Many modern artists and business persons find this ancient wisdom to still be applicable to contemporary life. Indeed, though this was originally intended as a military manual of sorts, the anecdotes from Ancient China are still directly connected to our challenges today.

The simplistic language of these texts can be deceptive, but if taken as a metaphor, for example, to attack the enemy only when he is awake, or to appear weak when you are strong, these ancient words can help anyone looking to sublimate emotions and focus outside of an inflexible agenda, indecisiveness, and overwhelming problems.

What armies of belief do we command? Pursue, protect, and promote? These questions are implicitly addressed, while Sun Tsu's strategy encourages us to overcome our personal cognitive biases.

With Scott Brick and Shelley Frasier taking turns narrating, they breathe new life into an ancient text.

Sun Tzu was a military general, strategist and philosopher during the Zhou Dynasty and has had a significant influence on Chinese and Asian culture.

Master Sun said: “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.”

For more than two thousand years, The Art of War has stood as a cornerstone of Chinese culture, a lucid text that reveals as much about psychology, politics, and economics as it does about battlefield strategy. For those seeking a deeper understanding of this seminal work, scholar John Minford brings the words of Sun-tzu to life for modern listeners, presenting the core text in two formats:

Part I: The original text by Sun-tzu
Ray Porter reads the unadorned thirteen chapters, allowing listeners to form their own first impressions of the ancient words of wisdom ascribed to Sun-tzu.

Part II: The original text with running commentary
Read by Ray Porter and Lorna Raver, the original text is presented again, this time with extensive running commentary by traditional Chinese scholars and the translator, providing context and subtext for the work. Included is a lively, learned introduction, read by Lorna Raver, in which Minford explores the life and times of Sun-tzu and considers how best to read and understand the work today. 

Even those readers familiar with The Art of War will experience it anew, finding it more fascinating and more relevant than ever.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “The most useful and important book ever written for aspiring leaders.”

    Toronto Sun Times

  • “The Art of War is among the greatest classics of military literature ever written. Sun Tzu warfare is as applicable today as when the book was written some 2,500 years ago.”

    Marine Corps Gazette

  • “Just when we thought a new Sun-tzu The Art of War translation is not needed, retired Professor John M. Minford’s masterful work proved us wrong.”


  • “[The] most famous of the classic Chinese military writings…Shows that Sun-tzu was not just a solitary genius, but the product of a remarkably rich martial culture.”

    Robert L. O’Connell, author of Of Arms and Men: A History of War, Weapons, and Aggression

  • “Fills a serious gap for anyone interested in the history of ancient warfare…a fascinating book.”

    Arther Ferrill, author of The Origins of War: From the Stone Age to Alexander the Great

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Josiah | 2/20/2014

    " This book was genius in its day. As I read some comments and other reviews on this book, I saw that some people think it is simple and filled with common sense. It was not so common when it was originally written, and is only "common" now because of its vast history of being used in many cultures and environments. Though it is obviously designed for literal warfare, it is a useful tool for training your brain to look at situations analytically in everyday life and spend accordingly. Don't be over eager; patience is often the better route. I personally enjoyed the recurring phrases that encouraged the officers, generals and sovereigns, the leaders, to act for the good of the nation, rather than seeking your own advancement or pleasure at the expense of those you lead. This book was a quick and valuable read and has stood the test of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kat | 2/17/2014

    " Everything in here pretty much seems to be common sense. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Life Between Coffee Spoons | 2/17/2014

    " This fit nicely in the class I read it for, which dealt with war literature. I can see where it has found use throughout the ages, but it made for rather dry reading. It's definitely worth looking at from both the historical standpoint and how it continues to influence modern warfare, even though much of it may seem like common sense now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Richard Shepard | 2/16/2014

    " Interesting material apparently written 2500 years ago, most of which still applies today. It is more of a reference book than a treatise, in that several points could stand embellishment. I am hoping to find an annotated version at some point to help me better understand it. "

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