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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DC Lau - The Heartfelt Wisdom of the Analects.
DC Lau - (that is Din Cheuk Lau), passed away in April of this year (2010). He was born in Hong Kong (in 1921), and despite being a successful academic and a renowned Chinese scholar, he left no off-spring and was something of a hermit outside of work. He was, however, greatly respected by his students. He has left the world with some very important translations. His...
Published on 13 Nov. 2010 by ShiDaDao Ph.D

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this book!
Amazon is really cheeky here - D.C Lau's translation of the Analects is an old standard. But if you click on this book you won't get that - you'll get some strange, anonymous translation that is certainly not D.C. Lau's, and which, naturally, lacks the fine introduction in D.C. Lau's 1979 original.

So make sure you click on the link to the 1979 edition, not any...
Published 21 months ago by Haogu


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DC Lau - The Heartfelt Wisdom of the Analects., 13 Nov. 2010
DC Lau - (that is Din Cheuk Lau), passed away in April of this year (2010). He was born in Hong Kong (in 1921), and despite being a successful academic and a renowned Chinese scholar, he left no off-spring and was something of a hermit outside of work. He was, however, greatly respected by his students. He has left the world with some very important translations. His ability to translate difficult and often obscure, ancient Chinese concepts into English has enriched the study of old China, and given reliable and accurate insight into its sages and their teachings.

The Analects, or 'Lun Yu', to give it its Chinese title, is a collection of sayings of the teacher known as Confucius ((551-429BC). The Penguin Classic paperback edition has the usual twenty chapters associated with the Lun Yun, as well as three appendices:

Appendix 1: Events in the Life of Confucius.
Appendix 2: The Disciples as They Appear in the Abalects.
Appendix 3: The Lunyu.

This background information is crucial. It places Confucius and his students into an historical context. Through this translation, DC Lau introduces a new generation to the ancient wisdom of Confucius. A perfect book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this book!, 16 Oct. 2013
Amazon is really cheeky here - D.C Lau's translation of the Analects is an old standard. But if you click on this book you won't get that - you'll get some strange, anonymous translation that is certainly not D.C. Lau's, and which, naturally, lacks the fine introduction in D.C. Lau's 1979 original.

So make sure you click on the link to the 1979 edition, not any of the others. Amazon really needs to fix this as its a big problem - I assigned this book to my university students and half of them ended up with the wrong book.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource & easy reference, 11 Jun. 2009
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Other than in passing reference I am new to Confucius' body of work and The Analects have been an excellent place to start. D. C. Lau's introduction lays excellent ground for the reader to understand and put into context The Analects. It is this introduction that makes this translation stand out from others I perused before purchasing.

Having read through once I now use this book daily as a reference of useful and practical principles. Much of the guidance given by Confucius is as relevant today as it was over 2500 years ago. In the spirit of Confucius, I would recommend you apply his teachings as part of your own personal quest to self discovery to improve the world around you.

Ahead of his time, it is disappointing that Confucius and The Analects are not more common in education syllabuses to encourage young people to consider their environment, politics and relationships with other human beings. In a society where ego is usually a guiding principle of success, I highly recommend The Analects as your own personal `check and balance'.

I haven't changed the world and I've certainly not lost my ego, but the teachings of Confucius (in this publication) have helped me temper my arrogance and consider my relationships with friends relatives and colleagues; all for the better.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words of wisdom- can be a constant companion, 15 Dec. 2009
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I purchased this having often enjoyed reading asserted Confucius quotes on sites such as wikiquote, and others. When I discovered I could purchase them in this form, I ordered it. About half a year later I started to read it, having purchased many classics at once.

I am not a stranger to reading philosophy: odd, perhaps, considering my age (19). I had read Nietzsche, Milton Friedman's monograph Capitalism and Freedom, much of Max Stirner's The Ego and Its Own, numerous political essays and opinion pieces, Machiavelli's The Prince...all those were much more 'cynical' than Confucius, who has a wonderful, if cautious outlook on life. Nietzsche, too, has this property, although it takes a reader to understand the underlying celebration, and to reach the joyful regions of his arguments.

Confucius, known here generally as 'The Master', can be summed simply: he promotes 'wisdom' and 'benevolence' as the chief sources of happiness in life. To Confucius, what follows this is loyalty, social cohesion (if we strive for benevolence, then we are bound to please others, and thus have them seek to please us). In other words, Confucius believes that these elements help the reproduction of society, and the reproduction of man. Confucius refreshingly believes that men can improve themselves, and can become Gentlemen whether they are poor, or are rich. Becoming a gentle man (to twist the translation to show its etymological implications) is, therefore, a wonderful cause, and something which is rewarding.

The early chapters are less interesting than the later, but I picked up and read this over a long period of time (a large break), so I may be wrong. I would read a chapter or a half every day or two, and would on the rest of my journey throughout the hours muse on them, internalise them, think on their wisdom. The less helpful passages are ones which are not as applicable to a secular, Western reader, such as about ancestor worship, and perhaps too the rigorousness of 'filial piety': obeying of one's parents, and the writings based around tea and rice (although we can substitute this and simply take the wisdom behind it).

However, the principles Confucius founds these ideas on are sound and are rigorously applied: for example, Confucius writes that "If a man sets his heart on benevolence, he will be free from evil"- the same is true of Kings, Dukes, Lords, all of whom should lead by example- Confucius believed, having served in government himself in his younger years, that if their leaders were good and kind, so too would be their people.

D.C. Lau's edition is thoughtful, and its footnotes are often helpful, particularly on corruption. Something I did not note until I was near the end of the book was the very helpful glossary of names after the main text, which I would recommend to use- The Analects were written down by Confucius' followers and friends, thus the majority of the sayings are based around dialogue between those individuals and The Master.

Confucius' humility, wisdom and sticking to his principles are refreshing. Most importantly to this review, this book helped stabilise me at a time when I was uncertain and thinking a lot- Nietzsche may have turned me into a man of dynamite ("I am not a man, I am Dynamite", Ecce Homo), I feel Confucius helped turn me into a wiser man.

Lightweight and easy to pick up, I'd recommend The Analects to anyone who perhaps wants to immerse themselves in one of the significant roots of China's culture, and to immerse themselves in their own mind and thoughts. Often the most favourable interpretation of a saying is best- be open and respectful (to be Confucian) and these sayings will help you as they certainly did with me. I only wish I had the volume here at university, something I will rectify when I return home.

5 stars/5
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good book, 2 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
A brilliant book sums this up. For those interested in learning about non-western philosophy it is a perfect introduction. Full of Confucius' sayings it will teach you about the morality of the world from the view of Confucius. Not only this but it will also teach you about human nature, people 24 centuries ago aren't that different from people today. More importantly it will teach you how to live. It was a most enjoyable read and it taught me a lot.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-Western wisdom, 1 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
I think most people interested in philosophy have heard of Confucius but not many have read about him. I've always had an interest in philosophy but it is the Greek philosophers who dominate all the books. I decided that I should read some non-Western philosophy and where better than Confucius? I wasn't disappointed. This is a collection of Confucius' sayings which are very interesting and also apply to modern life. This book will not only introduce you to some non-Western philosophy, it will help you become a little bit wiser.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to know Confucius (551-479 BC) is very worthwhile, 24 Jan. 2013
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laurens van den muyzenberg "laurens" (Villa Lama, Super Cannes, 06220 Vallauris Golfe-Juan.) - See all my reviews
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The Analects contain twelve books (I to XX) each with around 15 to 50 numbered paragraphs. Confucius believed a leader that acted virtuously without resort to punishment could govern a country. Confucius lived in the "hundred philosophers period "551-233 BC. Two other prominent philosophers in that period were Mo Tzu with Consequentialism (see my review) and Han Fei Tzu with Legalism (see my review).
Many of Confucius ideas are similar to Mo Tzu, be it with some important differences (see later). The government never practiced Confucius ideas without including some of the ideas of Legalism, which emphasized the establishment of laws and punishment.
I have read the analects several times and analyzed each paragraph for relevance and usefulness to day. Many are. I learned a lot.
Many authors have tried to group these paragraphs under a few headings, some under the Chinese words, Jen, Chun tzu, Li, Te and Wen. The author presents in the Introduction such a summary of 46 pages of the Analects text 102 pages.
My recommendation is to read the analects before the introduction and determine what you think is relevant to day. Confucius presents ideas on how you should think and act. I have selected a few of the paragraphs about government and the way to act that I hope will encourage you to read the analects.
XII.19.Question. What would you think if I were to kill those who do not follow the way (do what is right)? Answer, What need is there for you to kill? Just desire the good yourself and the common people will be good. The virtue of the gentleman is like wind; the virtue of the small man is like grass. Let the wind blow over the grass and it is sure to bend.
II.3 Guide them with edicts, keep them in line with punishments, and the common people will stay out of trouble but will have no sense of shame. Guide them with virtue, keep them in line with rites, and they will, besides having a sense of shame, reform themselves
XVI.10 There are nine things the Gentleman turns his thought to: seeing clearly when he uses his eyes, to hearing acutely, when he uses his ears, to looking cordial when it comes to his countenance, to appearing respectful when it comes to his demeanor, to being conscientious when he speaks, to be reverent when he performs his duties, to seeking advice when he is in doubt, (be aware) of the consequences when he is enraged, and to do what is right at the sight of gain.
IV.15 The way of the master consists in doing one's best and in using oneself as a measure to gauge others.
VI.3 Yen Hui was eager to learn. Unfortunately his allotted span was a short one and he died". Mo Tzu concluded from this last paragraph that Confucius was a fatalist
All three philosophers believed that the ancestors were living in heaven and watching their descendants and interfering in what happened on earth. Elaborate funerals were held to show respect. Confucius supported rites and elaborate funerals. Mo Tzu said," if the officials sincerely desire to practice benevolence and righteousness and to benefit the people of China, they ought to adapt moderation in funerals as a principle of government.
The paragraphs also show that Confucius believed that it was possible for leaders to govern by acting virtuously and skeptical about the use of laws and punishment as advocated by Han Fei Tzu (II.3).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless wisdom, with solid editing, 9 Jan. 2013
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I understand that this is no fault of the writer(s); Confucius has much less surviving work than western counterparts Plato, Aristotle etc. - and it can be a little offsetting. This book won't read like Plato's "Republic", Aristotle's 'Politics' or pretty much anything else - it's more of a compilation of the sayings of Confucius (hence 'Analects'). Some excerpts are a single line, whilst others a whole page. This makes for very easy picking up, as you won't need to remember where you left off, really.

What I can make of this book is that Confucius was an extremely wise man, and it's a shame that he didn't write his own book(s). Also, there are great footnotes in this version of The Analects, and extensive further reading material at the back of the book; in addition to a very scene setting introduction.

It'll be a quick read (therefore buy it from a cheaper supplier), but unquestionably worthwhile
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent product, 7 Oct. 2011
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Mr. S. M. Withers (uk) - See all my reviews
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the book arrived in perfect condition and very promptly. exactly as i expected The reviws of the book were very helpful. Thank you
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As expected, 7 Jan. 2013
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Just what I wanted. Gives an introduction to Confucius followed by the sayings themselves. Couldn't have asked for anything more.
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