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Lost Tai'-Chi Classics from the Late Ch'Ing Dynasty (Suny Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture) Hardcover – July 1, 1996


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
  • Hardcover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr (July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 079142653X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791426531
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,293,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Chinese

About the Author

Douglas Wile is Associate Professor at Brooklyn College. He is the author of The Art of the Bedchamber: The Chinese Sexual Yoga Classics, Including Women's Solo Meditation Texts, also published by SUNY Press. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Bob on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
In a market saturated with nonsense that passes as tai chi, it is refreshing that someone has taken the trouble to publish something as potentially useful as this book. Not only does it provide several very old texts on tai chi which were written by acknowledged masters, but it also explores the history of tai chi in a more scholarly manner, rather than passing on half truths about "my teacher once told me that his teacher told him...". Thanks to Douglas Wile for raising the bar on tai chi literature in the US. Hope to see more like this one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Demitri Pevzner on November 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is nothing short of great scholarly work. The sheer amount of research that Douglas Wile put into the book must have been overwhelming. The text should be of interest to Sinologists and any serious student of Taijiquan alike, for it's stern cross-examination of the political and social factors that played into the Taijiquan creation mythos (including that of Zheng Sanfeng's involvement.)

Douglas Wile gives us a glimpse into the first major Classics of Taiji, an up-close look at the authors, their possible motivations and background history as based on the newspaper clippings and other records available from the Ch'ing time period. Various sources and theories are cross-examined, and held up against the records from that timeline. This questioning and cross referencing allows us better understanding of some of the strong cultural and seemingly mythological attributions that are prominent in today's presentation of the art.

Wile presents the reader with the Wu and Li family's involvement, their contributions to the art, their influence, and in turn, what influenced them. The various theories and chronologies, the various newspapers and records, numerous discrepancies and inconsistencies, and other significant information that leads the reader to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the depth of Taijiquan. While we may never know with 100% certainty the exact origins of the art (the Chen's account being perhaps the most feasible,) we may certainly discount many of the theories that are currently being passed off as genuine history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jianli on May 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The classic texts would be difficult for beginning tai chi students to understand, however,this book is an excellent choice for experienced students of tai chi. Texts of tai chi classics supplemented with the author's analysis of the signficance of the text and a detailed history of tai chi make this a book I will go back to over and over as my tai chi practice deepens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LeRoy W. Clark on December 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of Wile's greatest works on the history & development of the old boxing art.
His work translating the brothers Wu is alone worth the pitance asked for this classic work.

This is a must read for anyone serious about understanding the development and significance of the early Yang family along with Wu and Li.
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