Outline of Eighteen Dynasties (十八史略) is a good read for a summer afternoon. From time to time as I get immersed in the victories and defeats, conflicts and resolutions, goodwills and resentments among various characters in history, I feel as if I were seeing Confucius teaching his students with ginger in his mouth or hearing Sima Qien(司馬遷)'s sigh, wondering if the Way of Heaven exists at all. When I read in the old stories overwhelming relevance to the present, I am reassured again and again that history is truly a continuous conversation among the past, the present and the future, and that all histories are the history of today. [Shenzi]


I agree to this view of history as the history of today. I like it better than that of E H Carr, who, as a modern man, could not recognize the organic continuity among the past, the present, and the future. Hence a dialogue between two, not a conversation among three. [Orun]


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