What a time of metaphysical ferment, the centuries 600-400 B.C.! Lao-tzu, Confucius, Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and Buddha. Confucius's teaching has been neglected lately in favor of Zen and Taoism, so it is good to have a new book on his philosophy. Cleary, who also translated Sun Tzu's The Art of War (Shambhala, dist. by Random, 1988), here presents Confucian ideas on morality, proper behavior, business dealings, and spirituality. The format calls for the presentation of an idea from the ancient I Ching , with appropriate commentaries from analects. Confucious's explorations of the good life are still valid today, even though his emphasis on social values is not in the New Age style. Cleary also provides a brief historical introduction. Recommended. For another of Cleary's translations of ancient Chinese texts, see The Essential Tao , reviewed below.--Ed.-- Jeanne S. Bagby, formerly with Tucson P.L., Ariz.