Few nations have produced an intellectual tradition as complex or eclectic as that of China. Evolving gradually through a long, tumultuous history marked by magnificent triumphs and catastrophic defeats, the wisdom of the "Middle Kingdom" stands today as a testament to the achievements of human culture and sophistication. And yet, despite the gradual migration of Chinese thought and cosmology to the West, most of it remains mysterious or even unknown to Westerners. This remarkable volume opens a vivid window onto thousands of years of Chinese intellectual endeavor. From the time-honored sagacity of Confucius to the contemporary words of Deng Xiaoping, The Great Thoughts of China brings together-for the first time-quotations from the wisest, most insightful voices of Chinese history. Compiled by one of China's foremost cultural experts, the quotations have been carefully selected and translated for this edition to make them accessible to contemporary readers, while preserving their original meanings and context. The subjects are universal-art, human nature, politics, knowledge, military science-and the wisdom is ageless.
Each topic is preceded by a brief introduction, placing it within the greater context of Chinese thought, while biographical profiles lend insight into the fascinating lives of each person quoted. Whether Taoist, Buddhist, Communist, or Confucian, the compelling words and folk wisdom of China's past and present fill these pages with reason, revelation, and perception. Here, in one brilliant volume, are the beliefs and convictions that have forged a unique and intriguing culture. The Great Thoughts of China will enthrall all those captivated by Chinese civilization, philosophy, and history. Good government does not win the people as does good education. He who practices good government is feared by the people; he who gives good education is loved by them. Good government wins the wealth of the people; good education wins their hearts. Mencius (4th century b.c.) Moral force never dwells in solitude; it will always bring neighbors. Confucius (551 - 479 b.c.) Those who would question the present should investigate the past. Those who do not understand what is to come should look at what has gone before. Guanzi (c. 4th to 2nd century b.c.)
In general, among friends there should be little admonishing and fault-finding, but much directing and encouraging. Wang Yangming (1472 - 1529) In enforcing rules and regulations, it is better to be a bit on the strict side; otherwise, they cannot be properly established. Deng Xiaoping (1904 - )
LIANG CONGJIE is a noted Chinese scholar. He is vice president of the International Academy for Chinese Culture in Beijing and formerly senior editor of the Encyclopedia of China and editor--in--chief of The Chinese Intellectuals, a prominent Beijing quarterly. TODD LAPPIN is a journalist based in San Francisco. He holds a degree in East Asian intellectual history from Brown University.