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From the Publisher“Sam Crane's new book is a richly rewarding exploration ofthe ancient Chinese values and insights that have been the focus ofhis academic research, in connection with the deepest questions ofpersonal and public ethics in the modern United States. Everychapter draws from Crane's scholarship but also from his unsparingdescription of wrenching choices in his own life. Readers who areChina specialists will learn more about its traditions; readers whoare not will have new tools and concepts with which to understandtheir own societies, institutions, and creeds.”
—James Fallows, of The Atlantic, author of ChinaAirborne
“Sam Crane has written a lively andinsightful guide to China's two key philosophicalschools—Confucianism and Daoism—by looking at how theywould deal with today's problems in western countries. Abortion,education, crime, dealing with the mentally challenged: byexploring how China's greatest philosophical schools might havedealt with them, we learn not only about these ancient ways ofthought but also take away innovative ways of looking at our ownsociety. Sprinkled with humorous and touching first-personanecdotes, Crane has given us a truly innovative and fascinatingbook aimed at general readers.”
—Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of WildGrass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China
"This is a book for those who value life in all itscombinations. Sam Crane's marriage of ancient Chinese thought andmodern American life is filled with profound insights, intimateanecdotes and something beyond mere humanity. Applying theteachings of Zhuangzi and Confucius to debates about abortion,same-sex marriage and euthanasia, it will be read and argued-overagain and again."
—Jonathan Watts, author of When a Billion ChineseJump
"Sam Crane's erudite writing on ancient Chinese philosophy inthe modern era gives us a new window on some of the most hotlydiscussed issues in American society today, from democracy tosex."
—Edward Wong, China Correspondent, The New YorkTimes