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The Art of War | Chapter Summaries


Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Biography of Sun Tzu This translation of the historian Sima Qian's description states that Sun Tzu was originally from Ch'i, but he presented... Read More
Chapter 1 Sun Tzu begins his instruction on the topic of estimates in this first chapter with a brief introduction. He states it i... Read More
Chapter 2 Sun Tzu discusses the equipment, provisioning, and support of an army sent into battle. He emphasizes the use of both sp... Read More
Chapter 3 In this chapter Sun Tzu states, "To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." Sun Tzu and his commentator... Read More
Chapter 4 In Chapter 4 Sun Tzu draws a clear distinction between defense and offense, relative to what the general can control (hi... Read More
Chapter 5 Sun Tzu turns his attention to the forging of troops into well-organized units that can be skillfully managed to act as ... Read More
Chapter 6 Sun Tzu judges a successful general according to his ability to create a situation in which the enemy is forced to engag... Read More
Chapter 7 The second statement Sun Tzu makes at the beginning of this chapter is, "Nothing is more difficult than the art of maneu... Read More
Chapter 8 Sun Tzu identifies what should—and should not—be done in five different types of ground to lay a foundation for the nine... Read More
Chapter 9 This chapter addresses the organization of well-disciplined marches and the arrangement of troops facing an approaching ... Read More
Chapter 10 Sun Tzu devotes this chapter to a study of the ground (or terrain) on which a battle may be fought. However, in so doing... Read More
Chapter 11 Sun Tzu and his commentators quickly run through descriptions of nine different varieties of ground on which a battle ma... Read More
Chapter 12 This very short chapter is one in which Sun Tzu and his commentators briefly describe "five methods of attacking with fi... Read More
Chapter 13 This final chapter of The Art of War requires more than the usual commentary to understand Sun Tzu's meanings. Sun Tzu b... Read More
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