A wonderfully enjoyable storehouse of ancient Chinese history and legends, which also has an important role in understanding 21st century. China 'And remember: Heaven's blessing will cease forever if there's despair and poverty in your lands.' This book deals with this topic.
'A leader Should be loved. Who Should be feared? The people.' The Most Venerable Book is one of the most sacred works of Chinese civilization. It has been read for over 1300 years as an essential guide to good governance, with its prestige stemming from the belief that it had been assembled by Confucius himself. Describing heroic figures and key events from China's past, this chronicle of changing dynasties, benevolent rulers, sagacious ministers and vicious tyrants extols the virtues of good kingship, and the need for those who restrain the powerful to maintain the order of the cosmos. This fluid modern translation breathes new life to an ancient text that still shows how to govern, and live, well. Translated with an Introduction by Martin Palmer
The various authors of The Most Venerable Book (Shang Shu) are anonymous. There are many arguments about the age and authenticity of the different sections. Parts of the text were never recovered after The First Emperor's attempts to eradicate it, other parts are clearly later. Some sections have been retrieved from tombs dating to the 3rd century BC and the last additions were made in the 4th century AD. Martin Palmer (who translated the book with Victoria Finlay and Jay Ramsay) is Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture (ICOREC) and Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC). His previous translations include The Book of Chuang Tzu (Penguin Classics), The Dao de Jing and The I Ching.
The text is alive with the deeds and misdeeds of Chinese rulers, some told in graphic and gory detail . . . Palmer's introduction is witty and eschews any sign of academic-speak . . . There has been a revival in interest in China in Confucian ethics in recent years as people search for moral points of reference . . . The Shang Shu is part of this, and Martin Palmer has presented the English reading audience with an excellent route to an understanding of these ideas China Daily - European Weekly
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