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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