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Red Pine (a.k.a. Bill Porter) offers a new perspective on the Chinese classic Taoteching. A competent translator and interpreter of Chinese religion, he renders his work with an eye for detail and a spiritualism cultivated during years of Zen monastery living. It's odd that many read translations of Chinese classics as bare-bones texts, whereas no Chinese would tackle such obscurity in the absence of a helping hand from previous pundits. Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to rely on mystical insight in order to understand the Taoteching. Instead, we can look to the 12 or so commentators that Red Pine resurrects from Chinese history. With its clarity and scholarly range, this version of the Taoteching works as both a readable text and a valuable resource of Taoist interpretation. [via]