Often quoted but rarely understood, the thoughts of Confucius has shaped 2,500 years of history.

Author Jonathan Clements outlines the life and times of China’s greatest philosopher, concentrating on sides rarely seen – the younger years of Confucius, his interaction with his pupils, his feuds with his enemies and even his sarcastic wit.

He also examines the fluctuating fortunes of the sage after his death: how his work was almost lost entirely to posterity, before becoming the centre of centuries of Chinese government, and subject yet again to purges in the troubled 20th century.

About The Author

Headshot of Jonathan Clements

Jonathan Clements

Jonathan Clements is the author of many books on East Asia, including Confucius: A BiographyThe Emperor’s Feast: A History of China in Twelve Meals, and an acclaimed translation of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. For the National Geographic channel, he has presented the documentary Shandong: Land of Confucius, as well as three seasons of Route Awakening, a TV series on Chinese cultural icons.