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February 16 , 2009

Lao-tzu's Taoteching


“A refreshing new translation. . . . Highly recommended.”—Library Journal

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“With its clarity and scholarly range, this version of the Taoteching works as both a readable text and a valuable resource of Taoist interpretation.”—Publishers Weekly

“Read it in confidence that it comes as close as possible to expressing the Chinese text in English.”—Victor Mair, professor of Chinese studies, University of Pennsylvania

Lao-tzu’s Taoteching is an essential volume of world literature, and Red Pine’s nuanced and authoritative English translation—reissued and published with the Chinese text en face—is one of the best-selling versions. What sets this volume apart from other translations are its commentaries by scores of Taoist scholars, poets, monks, recluses, adepts, and emperors spanning more than two thousand years. “I envisioned this book,” Red Pine notes in his introduction, “as a discussion between Lao-tzu and a group of people who have thought deeply about his text.”

Sages have no mind of their own
their mind is the mind of the people
to the good they are good
to the bad they are good
until they become good
to the true they are true
to the false they are true
until they become true . . .

Lao-tzu (ca. 600 BCE) was a Chinese sage who Confucius called “a dragon among men.” He served as Keeper of the Royal Archives and authored the Taoteching.

Red Pine is one of the world’s foremost translators of Chinese literary and religious texts.

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