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Publisher's Summary

Confucius knew all about life and told us how to behave, but we can't find out precisely what he was up to. His well-meaning platitudes, quaint maxims, and quasi-enigmatic anecdotes combined to produce an ideal philosophy for civil servants. It would appear that his aim was to turn his pupils into good government officials, but his teachings succeeded beyond his wildest expectations, providing rules of conduct and spiritual fodder for more than two thousand years.

In Confucius in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Confucius's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Confucius' work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place Confucius within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.

©1999 Paul Strathern (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Well-written, clear, and informed, they have a breezy wit about them. I find them hard to stop reading." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about Confucius in 90 Minutes

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Very misleading title...

This book had more to do with Chinese philosophy and other random figures in history that it did Confucius. Even the timeline of his life according to the author spans hundreds of years and has almost nothing to do with him. the author clearly didn't do any research and knew very little about Confucius. For anyone looking for accurate and detailed information, this is a waist of time.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

The author seems to dislike Confucius

The author completely fails to elucidate any of Confucius's brilliance, and instead appears to be utterly bored by Confucius (begging the question of why he wrote the book). The narrator faced a difficult task of trying to breathe life into the book, and didn't. This was an ill-conceived 90-minute introduction that does little to introduce Confucius to the listener, nor is it well organized. Don't waste your time--this is not a good introduction to the subject.

6 people found this helpful

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Pretty Bad

Full of errors and incorrect assertions. Knowledge of Chinese and Chinese culture is extremely limited. For instance, the origins of the term Kungfu has nothing to do with Confucius.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good.

Gave me exactly what the title promised. It's well written, easy to follow, entertaining and narrated by one of my favourites: Robert Whitfield.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Abysmal

What disappointed you about Confucius in 90 Minutes?

Author amuses himself by spoofing and ridiculing Confucius. Arrogant, haughty. Filled with crude Western prejudices. As a beginner myself, I prefer a fine translation to this debased British-style comedy routine.

What do you think your next listen will be?

More reliable and scholarly translation that allows me to learn about Confucius for myself.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No. Author needs advice on where to place his "little sticks."

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent !!!

this book introduces Confucius by giving a record of his birth and his training and how he just became a a person that people flocked to because he thought out of the box and his time culture needed a tune-up and Confucius was the one to do it and then comes another guy and then comes you know it all needs down to Gandhi but they're not related it's just each new era called for a new person to step up and follow the voice in their head and then at the end there is a nice long narration of many of Confucius sayings..

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    2 out of 5 stars

Typical of the series

As always with this series, you must read critically and take it with a substantial grain of salt. Strathern will helpfully collect many of the relevant facts for your review. But he will invariably mix it with his poor judgments and confident ignorance, especially of the pre-modern West.

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Well performed but terribly written

The author appears to enjoy taking jabs at people. His “better than tho” attitude is very off putting.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Golden for anyone in management.

Don’t sweat the small stuff,promote people with talent. I love this 90mins series. Is filled with pragmatic wisdom. Thanks to those that made it happened.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional

Great place to start learning for the beginner. Great for those with concentration and focus stuggles. Straight forward and to the point with bits of subtle humor here and there.