Confucius: A Life of Thought and Politics

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Yale University Press, 2009 - History - 268 pages
2 Reviews

For more than two thousand years, Confucius (551-479 B.C.) has been a fundamental part of China's history. His influence as a moral thinker remains powerful to this day. Yet despite his fame and the perennial interest in his life and teachings, Confucius the man has been elusive, and no definitive biography has emerged. In this book, the scholar and writer Annping Chin negotiates centuries of reconstructions, guess-work, and numerous Chinese texts in order to establish an absorbing and original account of the thinker's life and legacy. She shows with new insight how Confucius lived and thought, his habits and inclinations, his relation to his contemporaries, his work as a teacher and as a counsellor, his worries about the world and the generations to come.

 

Chin brings the historical Confucius within reach so that he can lead us into his idea of the moral and explain his timeless teachings on family and politics, culture and learning. Confucius is the culmination of years of research, a book that makes an important and fascinating contribution to biography and Chinese history.

 

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User Review  - kant1066 - LibraryThing

With the ascendancy of New Age religion and metaphysics, if one can even bear to grace them those names, it has been increasingly difficult to discern the scholarly from the hogwash, the learned from ... Read full review

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User Review  - remikit - LibraryThing

I enjoyed parts of the book and many of her quotes from the Analects, but felt in the end only marginally closer to understanding who he was. Maybe that's actually closer to the truth anyway - how ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Introduction
9
1 Leaving Home
23
2 Families and Politics
41
3 Companions
63
4 Wanderings
85
5 Return
119
6 Teaching
142
7 The Rites of Life and Death
172
8 Defenders
192
Epilogue
221
Notes
223
A Note on the Sources
251
Bibliography
253
Index
261
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About the author (2009)

Ann-Ping Chin received her Ph.D. in Chinese Thought from Columbia University. Formerly on the faculty at Wesleyan University, she now teaches in the history department at Yale. She is the author of four previous books.

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