I own about 10 different versions of the Tao Te Ching. Recently, I was in a bookstore, and browsed through several versions I had not read.
I put the others back, and purchased this one. Based on the Mawangdui and Guodi texts recovered from tombs in the mid 1970's, the graves were believed to date back to 170 BC, and the texts possibly to 300 BC. If so, this Moss Roberts version is from the oldest recorded texts available.
As you might appreciate portions of text were missing or in different order, and so he has reconciled them with the received text.
I find this particular version to be excellent, the author, a lecturer in Chinese, took a great deal of care in his research. His original use of language, being different from popular translations, conjures up different potential meanings and interpretations. He includes a valuable commentary which gives a context of the time and the text, which facilitates further understanding. The scholarship is excellent.
Here is a selection from Verse 1, so you can compare:
1 The Way as "way" bespeaks no common lasting Way.
2 The name as "name" no common lasting name.
3 Absent is the name for sky and land's first life,
4 Present for the mother of all ten thousand things.
He also clearly has a high level of intellectual understanding of being and negation, which i find useful.
In any event, if I was going to a desert island and allowed 3 versions of the Tao, I would definitely choose this one, not necessarily because it's the best, but because I have already read and gotten the inspiration from other versions, and I would be more likely to get fresh inpsiration from this one.
I love this version, and I hope you will too.
I hope this review was helpful to you.