For anyone interested in China-its past, its present, and its future-The Analects is a must-read. 'The Analects' are a collection of Confucius's sayings brought together by his pupils shortly after his death in 497 BC. Together they express a philosophy, or a moral code, by which Confucius believed everyone should live. Upholding the ideals of wisdom, self-knowledge, courage and love of one's fellow man, he argued that the pursuit of virtue should be every individual's supreme goal. And, while following the Way, or the truth, might not result in immediate or material gain, Confucius showed that it could nevertheless bring its own powerful and lasting spiritual rewards.
Confucius (551–479 B.C.) was a philosopher, a political figure, an educator, and the founder of one of the major schools of thought in Chinese history.