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Posted December 29, 2012
This collection of excerpts from the greatest Chinese writing is like a museum for philosophy through the centuries. The editor's excellent introductions are like statements of museum curators. And the full tour delivers a far more powerful encounter with Chinese history than any museum of artifacts. It gives direct experience of the breadth, style, and intensity of thought as it evolved age by age.
These writings are selected on the basis of their historical importance more than their entertainment value, and some enormously influential pieces from the past seem overly abstract or pedantic to modern Western tastes. Also, this collection of "sources" is almost entirely philosophical. The collection highlights serious philosophy, leaving aside popular myth, folklore, poetry, drama, or fictional literature, which are also sources of tradition.
--author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization
Posted August 15, 2003
I'll make this short...For anyone interested in Chinese history, literature, or culture, this volume is an absolutely essential collection of primary sources, and includes prefaces and explanations by China scholars. There is no one better than de Bary, and this new edition includes everything from the 1960 edition up through the Jiang Zemin era.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.