For more than two thousand years, Confucius (551-479 B.C.) has been a fundamental part of China's history. His influence as a moral thinker remains powerful to this day. Yet despite his fame and the perennial interest in his life and teachings, Confucius the man has been elusive, and no definitive biography has emerged. In this book, the scholar and writer Annping Chin negotiates centuries of reconstructions, guess-work, and numerous Chinese texts in order to establish an absorbing and original account of the thinker's life and legacy. She shows with new insight how Confucius lived and thought, his habits and inclinations, his relation to his contemporaries, his work as a teacher and as a counsellor, his worries about the world and the generations to come. Chin brings the historical Confucius within reach so that he can lead us into his idea of the moral and explain his timeless teachings on family and politics, culture and learning. Confucius is the culmination of years of research, a book that makes an important and fascinating contribution to biography and Chinese history.