Interpretations of the Daodejing (also spelled, Tao Te Ching) range from the practical to the metaphysical. The degree to which it's enigmatic qualities are the intention of the original author(s) remains open to debate. While some see the book as a collection of profoundly spiritual teachings, others find in it a systematic and political philosophy that has been overtaken by religious tradition over the centuries; thereby obscuring the meaning of it's original message with language and concepts that have changed over time. Hans-Georg Moeller argues from this latter perspective in his translation and commentary of the Daedejing. While the commentary does a good job providing some convincing arguments in defense of his position on the correct meaning and interpretation of the text, he also provides modern readers of this ancient work enough historical context and background to allow them to form their own conclusions.
The translation itself appears to be quite formal, and although it occasionally deviates from the Mawangdui textual family in favor of this or that alternative rendering, it does tend to give that family of manuscripts greater weight than the traditional Wang-bi text (with the notable exception of the chapter and book order, which follows more closely the order of the traditional manuscripts). As a formal translation, faithfulness to the original language sometimes overrides the dictates of smooth, natural English here and there- making this translation more useful for in-depth study than for casual reading. That being said, the basic structure, the sense of clarity, the economy of language, and directness of expression used here often better communicate the message of the Daodejing than other, more verbose, translations tend to do.
I would suggest reading this version as a secondary translation (specifically for in-depth study), alongside a more dynamic primary version (such as Philip J. Ivanhoe's extremely faithful and poetic rendering of the traditional text), to get a fuller sense of the beauty and power of this ancient Chinese classic.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this translation to all serious students of philosophical Daoism.
I believe Hans-Georg Moeller is one of the finest writers on the subject of early Daoism and the Daodejing. As of this writing there seems to be about 2,000,000 English translations of the Daodejing. Since the 1970's (with the exception of Henricks and a few others) there has been a steady decline of scholarship in regards to the Dadejing. As of late, the nonsense that that passes from both academic and amateur interpreters is dumbfounding. What sets this new translation apart from the pack is Professor Moeller's unique interpretation of the work. "Finally" someone has peeled away the layers of both oriental and occidental obfuscation to reveal the core truths of this ancient book. If you truly want to know what the writers of this classic were attempting to impart, by all means read it.
The book is a wonderful piece of literature, however I paid for "expedited" shipping for a book that came during standard shipping days. In other words it came after I needed it. I have managed to keep the book for 1, because it was cheap (I paid more for shipping than for the book), & for 2 because it is a lovely "go to" piece when I feel like reading something full of wisdom.