69 pages 2 hours read

Sun Tzu

The Art of War

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | BCE

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The Art of War

  • Genre: Nonfiction; military strategy
  • Originally Published: Written in 5th century BCE; recent editions include 2002 and 2016
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 1550L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 13 chapters; approx. 200 pages; approx. 1 hour, 7 minutes on audio
  • Central Concern: The book offers counsel on military strategy and the main factors involved in waging and fighting a war. It has been read throughout centuries by world leaders and students of strategy and tactical science and is often recommended reading at colleges and military academies.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Discussions of wartime survival

Sun Tzu, Author

  • Bio: Thought to have lived in the first half of the Eastern Zhou period in China, perhaps serving King Helü of Wu in the sixth century BCE as a general; generally credited with writing The Art of War based on his experiences as a strategist

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Planning Is Primary
  • The Importance of Deception
  • Striking at the Enemy’s Weak Spots
  • Adapting Rapidly to Changing Conditions

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the cultural and historical contexts regarding strategies that impact warfare.
  • Analyze paired texts and other brief resources to make connections via the text’s themes of Planning Is Primary, The Importance of Deception, Striking at the Enemy’s Weak Spots, and Adapting Rapidly to Changing Conditions.
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