The Art of War VISUALIZED - [PDF Document] (2022)



    J E S S I C A H A G Y

    WO R K M A N P U B L I S H I N G, N E W YO R K

  • Copyright 2015 by Jessica HagyIllustrations copyright 2015 by Jessica Hagy

    The English translation of the text of The Art of War was made by Lionel Giles and was first published in 1910 by Luzac & Co., London.

    All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproducedmechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopyingwithout written permission of the publisher. Published simultaneously in Canada by Thomas Allen & Son Limited.

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available.ISBNs: 978-0-7611-8238-2 (pb); 978-0-7611-8493-5 (hc)

    Design by Sarah Smith

    Workman books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk for premiums and sales promotions as well as for fund-raising or educational use. Special editions or book excerpts also can be created to specification. For details, contact the Special Sales Director at the address below, or send an email to [emailprotected]

    Workman Publishing Company, Inc.225 Varick StreetNew York, NY 10014-4381

    Workman is a registered trademark of Workman Publishing Co., Inc.

    Printed in the United States of AmericaFirst printing February 201510 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


  • FOR CALVINHeres to fighting thoughtfully for only the best of causes.


    INTRODUCTION: Visualize Your Metaphor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

    1 LAYING PLANS: Visualize Your Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 2 WAGING WAR: Visualize Your Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 3 ATTACK BY STRATAGEM: Visualize Your Angle . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 4 TACTICAL DISPOSITIONS: Visualize Your Advantages . . . . . . 44 5 ENERGY: Visualize Your Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

  • 6 WEAK POINTS AND STRONG: Visualize Your Opportunities . . 68 7 MANEUVERING: Visualize Your Narrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 8 VARIATION IN TACTICS: Visualize Your Alternatives . . . . . . 112 9 THE ARMY ON THE MARCH: Visualize Your Surroundings . . 124 10 TERRAIN: Visualize Your Game Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 11 THE NINE SITUATIONS: Visualize Your Outcomes . . . . . . . . . 176 12 THE ATTACK BY FIRE: Visualize Your Flashpoints . . . . . . . . 218 13 THE USE OF SPIES: Visualize Your Truths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230


  • V I S U A L I Z EY O U R

    M E TA P H O R

  • The Art of War is a classic text attributed to the Chinese general Sun Tzu, who lived roughly 2,500 years ago. In recent centuries, its become not only the must-read book on military strategy (obviously), but its also become the go-to guide for domination in business, politics, management, marketing, logistical planning, and even sports. It has a concise, biblical rhythm, and a vaguely mythical tone. Its so old and so mysterious that it is literally legendary.

    (Video) The Art of War by Sun Tzu: Entire Unabridged Audiobook

    Because Im a visual storyteller by trade, when I first read The Art of War, I saw the short verses as captions for images that werent yet on the page; reimagining this globally revered classic with charts and graphs was something I felt almost compelled to doto create a modern, visual translation that shakes off 2,500 years of dust and changes the way we ponder conflict. At first, illustrating it was a challenge. But halfway through the second chapter, I realized that his ideas arent as bloodthirsty and brutish as his legend might lead you to believe. I found I actually liked old Sun Tzu. He makes a lot (and I do mean a lot) of logical sense. Each of his verses is a kind of lesson, so feel free to hopscotch through the pages or pause to reflect as you go alongafter all, the most important verses in this book will be the ones that help you best visualize your own experiences.

    It became clear that The Art of War is massively popular because Sun Tzus insights apply to all conflicts, great or small. The advice in these pages is as applicable to a ten-year-old running for student council president as it is to a conquering general. Its less about war than it is about problem solvingits a meta-metaphor. War is merely the stand-in noun for every hassle youve ever had in your life. Were all fighting for something or other. Lucky for us, Sun Tzu gave us a game plan.

  • Sun Tzu tackles them all, and so do all of us.




  • 6 | L AY I N G P L A N S


    C H A P T E R 1

  • V I S U A L I Z EY O U R

    S T R AT E G Y

  • Sun Tzu said:

    The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

    It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.

    Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

    8 | L AY I N G P L A N S




  • The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in ones deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are:1. The Moral Law2. Heaven3. Earth4. The Commander5. Method and discipline

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    (Video) Sun Tzu | The Art of War



    V I S U A L I Z E Y O U R S T R A T E G Y | 9

  • 1 0 | L AY I N G P L A N S

    The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

    Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.





  • The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage, and strictness.

    By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

    V I S U A L I Z E Y O U R S T R A T E G Y | 1 1

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  • These five heads should be familiar to every general:

    He who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail.

    Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:




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    1 2 | L AY I N G P L A N S

  • V I S U A L I Z E Y O U R S T R A T E G Y | 1 3

    Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral Law?

    Which of the two generals has most ability? With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?

    On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced? Which army is stronger? On which side are officers and men more highly trained?

    In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?








  • 1 4 | L AY I N G P L A N S

    By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat.

    The general who hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: Let such a one be retained in command!

    The general who hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat: Let such a one be dismissed!


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  • While heeding the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules.

    According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify ones plans.

    V I S U A L I Z E Y O U R S T R A T E G Y | 1 5


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  • All warfare is based on deception.

    Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.




    1 6 | L AY I N G P L A N S

  • Hold out baits to entice the enemy.

    Feign disorder, and crush him.

    If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

    If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.

    If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.

    Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

    These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.




    V I S U A L I Z E Y O U R S T R A T E G Y | 1 7

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  • 1 8 | L AY I N G P L A N S

    Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.

    The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations be


Did Sun Tzu ever lose a battle? ›

He also said Sun Tzu was both flexible and had unlimited surprises for his enemies. Sima Qian wrote that in his nearly 40-years as a general, Sun Tzu never lost a battle, a campaign or a war.

How many pages is The Art of War? ›

Sun Tzu The Art Of War - Paperback Edition in 204 pages.

What does Sun Tzu mean by heaven? ›

Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons. 8. Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death. 9. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.

What is the basic principle of Art of War explain? ›

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy not coming, but on our readiness to receive him.” “Make your way by unexpected routes and attack unguarded spots.” “If they will face death, there is nothing they will not achieve.”

What language did Sun Tzu speak? ›



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