Taoism > Bookstore

Several must-read books selected from the Amazon.com online bookstore.

Eva Wong's translation of the Lieh-tzu is one of the best because it sounds very familiar even with the Western modern readers.

James Legge offer translations of the basic Taoist texts. Lao-tzu's Tao-te ching and the Writings of Chuang-tzu are published in two volumes.

Several translations of the Tao-te ching follow. Please keep in  mind that these versions are intended for people with expertise.

Alan Watts wrote the best introductory book to Taoism. It is a must for anyone wishing to seize the very core of Tao teachings.

Lao-tzu and Taoism are treated systematically by Max Kaltenmark in his book. A must for anyone in need of a good introduction to these exciting topics.

One of the most quoted translations of Chuang-tzu is offered by BurtonWatson.

Thomas Merton provides several readings from Chuang-tzu and a consistent introductory study. The following quote proves the value of his considerations:

There is not much danger of confusing Chuang Tzu with Confucius or Mencius, but there is perhaps more difficulty in distinguishing him at first sight from the sophists and hedonists of his own time. For example, Yang Chu resembles Chuang in his praise of reclusion and his contempt for politics.

He bases a philosophy of evasion, which is frankly egotistical,
on the principle that the bigger and more valuable the tree is,
the more likely it is to fall victim to the hurricane or to the
lumberman's axe.

The avoidance of political responsibility was, therefore, essential to Yang's idea of personal happiness and he carried this to such an extent that Mencius said of him: "Though he might have benefited the whole world by plucking out a single hair, he would not have done it."

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