The Most Venerable Book (Shang Shu)
A wonderfully enjoyable storehouse of ancient Chinese history and legends, which also has an important role in understanding 21st century China
The Most Venerable Book (also known as The Book of History) is one of the Five Classics. For many centuries it was a central work for anyone wishing to work for the Imperial administration, with its prestige stemming from the belief that it had been assembled by Confucius himself. The First Emperor tried to have all copies destroyed because of its subversive implication that 'the Mandate of Heaven' could be withdrawn from rulers who failed their people. For similar reasons it was also banned by Mao. Extraordinarily, it has been revived by the Chinese government of the 2010s.