The Authentic Confucius: A Life of Thought and Politics

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 6, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
2 Reviews
For more than two thousand years, Confucius has been an inseparable part of China's history. Yet despite this fame,Confucius the man has been elusive. Now, in The Authentic Confucius, Annping Chin has worked through the most reliable Chinese texts in her quest to sort out what is really known about Confucius from the reconstructions and the guesswork that muddled his memory.

Chin skillfully illuminates the political and social climate in which Confucius lived. She explains how Confucius made the transition from court advisor to wanderer, and how he reluctantly became a professional teacher as he refined his judgment of human character and composed his vision of a moral political order. The result is an absorbing and original book that shows how Confucius lived and thought: his habits and inclinations, his relation to the people of the time, his work as a teacher and as a counselor, his worries about the world and the generations to come.

In this book, Chin brings the historical Confucius within our reach, so that he can lead us into his idea of the moral and to his teachings on family and politics, culture and learning. The Authentic Confucius is a masterful account of the life and intellectual development of a thinker whose presence remains a powerful force today.

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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


Leaving Home
Families and Politics
The Rites of Life and Death
A Note on the Sources

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Page vii - BIt is for little souls, buried under the weight of business, to be unable to detach themselves cleanly from it or to leave it and pick it up again: Brave men, who have endured with me Worse things, now banish cares with revelry; Tomorrow we shall sail the mighty sea. HORACE Whether it is in jest or...

About the author (2007)

Annping Chin studied mathematics at Michigan State University and received her PhD in Chinese Thought from Columbia University. She was on the faculty at Wesleyan University and currently teaches in the History Department at Yale University, where her fields of study include Confucianism, Taoism, and the Chinese intellectual tradition. She is the author of three previous books: Children of China: Voices from Recent Years, Tai Chen on Mencius, and Four Sisters of Hofei. She has also coauthored, with Jonathan Spence, The Chinese Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years.

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