The Art of War. It's Not For Everyone : Planet Money "The Art of War" by Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, is one of corporate America's favorite books. But John McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia, isn't convinced about its utility.
NPR logo The Art of War. It's Not For Everyone

The Art of War. It's Not For Everyone

CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images
People sit reading on the beach on a sunny day in Le Havre, northwestern France, on May 27, 2016. / AFP / CHARLY TRIBALLEAU (Photo credit should read CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Sun Tzu's book on battlefield strategy, "The Art of War", has been required reading for the thoughtful military officer for more than 2,500 years. Today, though, among, the books biggest fans are American business people, many of whom regard it as an essential guide to business strategy. It's no accident that Donald J Trump himself echoed the book's title in his own work, The Art of the Deal.

We talked to John McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia University and podcast host at Lexicon Valley, about the book. He gave us his take on the utility of using the language of warfighting when doing business, and thinking about the boardroom as a battlefield.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter/ Facebook.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.