Tao Te Ching: A New English Version

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Overview

In eighty-one brief chapters, Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, provides advice that imparts balance and perspective, a serene and generous spirit, and teaches us how to work for the good with the effortless skill that comes from being in accord with the Tao&#8212the basic principle of the universe.

Stephen Mitchell's bestselling version has been widely acclaimed as a gift to contemporary culture.

The most accessible ...

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Tao Te Ching (Feng/English/Lippe translation)

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Overview

In eighty-one brief chapters, Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, provides advice that imparts balance and perspective, a serene and generous spirit, and teaches us how to work for the good with the effortless skill that comes from being in accord with the Tao&#8212the basic principle of the universe.

Stephen Mitchell's bestselling version has been widely acclaimed as a gift to contemporary culture.

The most accessible and authoritative English translation of the ancient Chinese classic. Offers the essence of each word and makes Lao Tzu's teaching alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Francette Cerullis
Hinton carefully and meticulously weaves Lao Tzu's philosophy and poetry into its historical, philosophical, and political context.... There is something fresh about Hinton's translation that goes right to the heart of how we ourselves live.
New Republic
Beautiful and accessible; the English, as 'fluid as melting ice,' is a joy to read throughout.
Common Boundary
Mitchell's great talent is to communicate with the profound simplicity utterly appropriate for this task. The obscure has been made transparent and available.
New Republic
Beautiful and accessible; the English, as 'fluid as melting ice,' is a joy to read throughout.
Common Boundary
Mitchell's great talent is to communicate with the profound simplicity utterly appropriate for this task. The obscure has been made transparent and available.
Huston Smith
Stephen Mitchell's rendition fo the Tao Te Ching comes as close to being definitive for our time as any I can imagine. It embodies the virtues its translator credits to the Chinese original: a gemlike lucidity that is radiant with humor, grace, largeheartedness, and deep wisdom.
Library Journal
Based on contemporaneous texts discovered by archeologists in China in the last 20 years, this new translation of the Te-tao Ching is very readable and enjoyable yet at the same time meticulously researched and accurate. It has a clear introduction, extensive commentary, and complete notes. A library wanting complete holdings on Chinese philosophy should surely consider this first of a five-volume series on Chinese classics that will appear in the next years. Otherwise, it will suffice to have translations of Lao-Tzu, the Tao (The Way), and/or the Tao-Te Ching by some or all of its past translators, including Stephen Mitchell, Wing-Tsit Chan, H.B. Crill, Witter Byner, Feng and English, Arthur Waley, Lin Yutang, and James Legge.-- Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Library Journal
Based on contemporaneous texts discovered by archeologists in China in the last 20 years, this new translation of the Te-tao Ching is very readable and enjoyable yet at the same time meticulously researched and accurate. It has a clear introduction, extensive commentary, and complete notes. A library wanting complete holdings on Chinese philosophy should surely consider this first of a five-volume series on Chinese classics that will appear in the next years. Otherwise, it will suffice to have translations of Lao-Tzu, the Tao (The Way), and/or the Tao-Te Ching by some or all of its past translators, including Stephen Mitchell, Wing-Tsit Chan, H.B. Crill, Witter Byner, Feng and English, Arthur Waley, Lin Yutang, and James Legge.-- Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau College, Garden City, New York
James Frey
“I have read many translations of this ancient text but Mitchell’s is by far the best.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060812454
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/1900
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: Compact
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 163,731
  • Product dimensions: 3.50 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Mitchell

Stephen Mitchell's many books include the bestselling Tao Te Ching, Gilgamesh, and The Second Book of the Tao, as well as The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, The Gospel According to Jesus, Bhagavad Gita, The Book of Job, and Meetings with the Archangel.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Tao Te Ching - Translation 13
Verbatim Translation 95
Notes on the Verbatim Translation 256
Commentary on Verse I 271
Definitions, Concordance, and Wade-Pinyin Conversion 295
List of Radicals 337
Appendix Some of the Earliest English Translations of Verse One 341
Sources 345
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(31)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2007

    Not a good choice if you want a real translation

    As other reviewers have already pointed out, this book is not really a translation at all. It's basically a mish-mash of some of the original material and the author's own politically correct new age philosophy. For instance, Mitchell always uses the female pronoun in refering to sages, but that is incorrect. The original Chinese is gender-neutral. There are also many omissions in this translation. Some of the best passages from the original Tao Te Ching are nowhere to be found in this book. The reason this book has become so popular is that, well, people are fairly gullible. Most do not know Chinese -- I on the other hand am a native speaker despite being Caucasian -- so they trust the opinion of academics and scholars. Unfortunately, in this case these learned folks have really dropped the ball. They don't have to be critical, but at least they should refrain from calling this book authentic or authoritative. The truth is that it is neither. Barnes & Noble has many other translations available. I advise people to look at the other choices.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2009

    A must for the ages.

    This is the book you need to condense the teachings of many other holy books into one. And you can carry it with you and keep it close to you for daily inspiration.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Translation

    If you are only going to read one version, this should be it. A very easy to read translation.

    Ideally, you should read this along with a more traditional translation - you'll get the most out of the text that way. When you read more than one translation, you really start to form your own unique conclusions, and that is the most important part.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    seriously, "Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!"

    this is a feel good, slap your forehead and go "duh, of course" listen....seriously, very calming and something I've been listening to daily and thoroughly enjoying.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful Translation

    This is my favorite translation of the Tao Te Ching. It is easy to read and a joy to learn.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2005

    Not a Translation

    This is not a translation of the Dao De Jing. This is an interpretation. Stephen Mitchell puts his personal spin on many passages and teachers of Asian Religion an Philosophy warn against his writing on this subject. When compared to the original text there is much that differs. This is a version that incorporates more new age western thinking than classic Daoist thought. If you're looking for comforting ideas this is the text for you, but if you're looking for Doaist text try the translation by Red Pine

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    A great book!!

    Once I pick this book up I can't put it down. It was to me recommended by a friend. The author explains the text well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    The second best book ever next to The Bible

    Tao is like water. Water is soft but outlasts the hard, finds a lower place and benefits everything.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2008

    the purest translation

    I've been given other versions of the Tao de Ching to read, but none have shone the quality and the essence of the original author as I believe this one by Stephen Mitchell does. It's one of those books you read very slowly, again and again, and let the beauty of it sink in to your being. It's truth has given me a peace like nothing else-- a sidewards glance and acceptance of the paradox of life. My version is a hard copy with a ribbon page saver, which I relish! Thank you!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2000

    Great Gift, Hardcover Tao Te Ching

    This book is a fun and happy presentation of the Tao Te Ching with good translations. I would definately recommend it as both a piece of literature and art. It's the kind of book that sparks conversation on a coffee table. Peace.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2014

    ! [33]

    Is where it starts

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    cliffrock

    Ok for traviling it depends on your conditions and the conditions of the other cats with you like if your a queen with newborn kits you will need borage if your in perfect condition you will want cobwebs and marigold thy look like this.poijts to cobwebs and marigold.we have very little borage and watermint do to river rise

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    Gingertail

    Pads in then pads out and leaves the camp. Tears in her eyes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    Eagleclaw

    *sneaks in from behind sunpaw grabs someherbs and marigold and sneaks back out and goes to his cavern

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    Mind Magic

    This little pocket book contains great wisdom. It's depth and simplicity are its best features. Those who read for knowledge and wisdom will find this little book a gem. I take it everywhere I go and try to read at least one page a day. Food for the Soul.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Quite Possibly My Favorite Translation

    While many purists don't care for this translation, I think it makes the ancient wisdom of the Tao accessible to the modern reader. I like the fact it is modernized and in today's language.

    May not be for you if you are a traditionalist, but great for those unfamiliar with the Tao as well as Reform Taoists, such as myself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2009

    Coffee table book

    Nice pictures. Nice chinese characters. One section provides the chinese
    with english translation with a picture background. Another section provides the english translation with commentary. It is easy to flip
    back and forth between the sections.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2006

    Easy Enlightment

    an excellent book to teach in basic language the philosopy of 'The Way' as written by Lao Tzu. A very deep and eye opening account of how life is and how it should be in order to to attain internal and external peace.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2005

    This is a wonderful intepretation

    As some reviewers have noted, this is not an exact translation but more of a intepretation that is aimed at the modern reader (and in defense of the book, it says just that on the back cover and description). If you are some Chinese philosophy teacher then no, you probably won't like this book. But if you are like 99% of the population than this is a wonderful introduction to the basic Taoism teachings and ideas. Look at this book as a starting point to understanding the basics and then if you are interested perhaps you can go for a more true translation of the text. But for people to give this a bad review is ridiculous. The writing is beautiful and very easy to comprehend and digest. It's also a very small pocket edition that is nice to carry around and read a few passages whenever you have time to kill. This book can be easily read in one sitting but contains some great ideas and Taoist basics that will give many people lots to think about in their daily lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2005

    are you joking?

    This book may be an attractive read, but if you are really looking for a good translation of the Tao Te Ching, and are really interested in the values and teachings of Taoism, don't bother yourself with this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews

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