The Resource The authentic Confucius : a life of thought and politics, Annping Chin

The authentic Confucius : a life of thought and politics, Annping Chin

The authentic Confucius : a life of thought and politics
The authentic Confucius
Title remainder
a life of thought and politics
Statement of responsibility
Annping Chin
The authentic Confucius
Documents the political life and intellectual development of the influential moral thinker, drawing on Chinese texts to separate historical from popularized facts to offer insight into Confucius's daily life, belief systems, and relationships with his contemporaries
  • Confucius set out to save the world from degeneration through politics and teaching. As a "common gentleman" whose rank in society depended exclusively on what he did with his life, how he spent his time, and how he applied his skills and knowledge, Confucius became known as the most notable and talented gentleman. Highly regarded scholar Chin (history, Yale) gives us an expertly researched and eloquently written account of Confucius's life, ideas, and work, turning, as Confucius and his responsible associates did, to old documents for information. Along with an international team of archaeologists, philologists, historians, and philosophers interested in the revival of traditional Chinese scholarship, Chin has been studying bamboo-slip manuscripts in China since 1998. One set, dated to 300 B.C.E., represents the earliest manuscripts we have of Confucius either discussing an even earlier text or conferring with his adherents about moral development or government strategy. This may not be the only book about Confucius, but Chin's simple, elegant writing style, combined with her erudition, distinguishes it from the rest. Highly recommended.—Jennifer H. Pollock, Yale Ctr. for British Art Lib., New Haven, CT --Jennifer H. Pollock (Reviewed October 15, 2007) (Library Journal, vol 132, issue 17, p70)
  • A wonderfully streamlined, agenda-free biography of China's greatest intellectual.Chin (Four Sisters of Hofei, 2002, etc.) corrects centuries of misquoting, projection, over-analysis and general wrongheadedness about the words and thoughts of Confucius (551–479 BCE). Exerting to this day an indescribable influence on China, he is so intertwined with its state and society that it seems impossible to see the man anymore, much less understand what he was trying to say. "We give him credit for all that has gone right and wrong in China because we do not really know him," Chin writes. Few facts are available about his life, and the gaps have often, at times fancifully, been filled by disciples writing centuries later. Chin eschews this temptation, concentrating instead on what is known—or what she at least thinks she knows—about his life and teachings. Born as a common gentleman—meaning that he could be educated but otherwise would have to make his own way in the world—Confucius seems to have spent a good deal of his life in service to various courts. He moved frequently, not always for clear reasons, and often had around him a group of students willing to act as foils for his philosophical wit. A true scholar, Confucius had a few core beliefs but no overarching set of ideas to which he tried to force all situations to bend. (Chin approves.) Revered for his wisdom and humility, he nevertheless had a pragmatic side: "I have never refused to teach anyone who approaches me on his own with a bundle of dried meat."Confucius finally gets his due. Chin sticks to the facts as she can discern them and lets the master speak for himself. (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007)
Cataloging source
Dewey number
  • 181.112
  • 920
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
Target audience
a life of thought and politics
a life of thought and politics
Annping Chin
The authentic Confucius : a life of thought and politics, Annping Chin
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Control code
24 cm.
268 p.

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