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The Te of Piglet Hardcover – Mar 5 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (March 5 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525934960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525934967
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.4 x 19.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Like Hoff's bestselling The Tao of Pooh , this more topical and sobering sequel uses characters from A. A. Milne's children's classics to illustrate the Taoist philosophy of living in harmony with nature. Piglet shows the Way, turning his smallness into an asset and embodying Te (pronounced deh ), the Chinese word for virtue. Illustrated with drawings from the original Pooh books and quoting liberally from them, this forceful New Age sermon condemns the rape of the environment, unsafe, unnecessary nuclear power plants, the bloated military budget, computers in the classroom, giant corporations, jingoist support for the Persian Gulf war and a succession of "self-centered, ignoramus Conservative" presidents. Hoff's tired attacks on the "Negative News Media" and on "Eeyore Amazons" who "call themselves feminists but . . . don't like femininity" weaken his presentation, but on the whole, his Taoist manifesto distills ageless personal and political wisdom, relaying an ecological message we ignore at our peril.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Ten years later, a sequel to the runaway bestseller The Tao of Pooh. If you like marshmallow laced with arsenic, it was worth the wait. In the original, as you may recall, Hoff had an Idea: that Winnie-the-Pooh could be used to explain Taoism, the ancient Chinese way of balance. Now, as luck would have it, Pooh's buddy Piglet turns out to be the perfect embodiment of Te, the Taoist term for virtue, which is attained through sensitivity, modesty, and smallness. Piglet, you see, is a ``Very Small Animal'' (for all his talk about smallness, Hoff, like A.A. Milne, who must be groaning in his grave, likes capital letters Very Much), and the diminutive porker's adventures are the perfect means to preach, Very Lightly, about being positive and ecological and upright. The trick is to ``observe, deduce, apply''; once done, the millennial ``Day of Piglet'' will arrive and human beings will once again achieve ``the state of paradise that existed before the Great Separation occurred.'' Watch out, though: All is not summer in the 100-Acre Wood. Beneath the goofy grin one finds bared teeth, as Hoff snaps away peevishly at Confucianism (``authoritarian, No- Nonsense attitude toward life''), Christianity, feminism (``behind their antimasculine words, it's Overmasculinity as Usual''), Republicans, critics, computers--whatever raises his Taoist hackles. All in a Good Cause, of course. No doubt, The Ching of Eeyore comes next. Then what? Well, by then the Day of Piglet will have come, and the whole world will be a Trillion-Acre Wood...so empty your pockets while you can, and watch Piglet bring home the bacon. (Illustrated with 51 line drawings from the original Pooh books. However did they dare?) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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One day not long ago, I found Piglet sitting by himself on the writing table, gazing wistfully out the window. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Katsurina on July 14 2004
Format: Paperback
I thoughrouly enjoyed and learned from the Toa of Pooh. The Te of Piglet seemed like little more than Mr Hoff's attempt to rub the success of the first book in the face of his critics.
The theoretical intention of the book was to explain the concept of Te and applying it to piglet for the western audiance. You could probably sum up everything he had to say about it on one page. Or one quote from the New Testament: "Blessed are the meek." He didn't really say much more than that on the subject.
What the book really seemed to be about was Eeyore. How Eeyore was against him, how Eeyore was wrong, how Eeyore never does anything, how Eeyore started all the wars... I often forgot the book was even supposed to be about piglet.
He devotes a lot of time, especially near the end to various political issues, such as the destruction of the redwood forest. A worthy cause, and some of his other's may also be worthy, but he doesn't make it clear at all what any of it has to do with Piglet. He probably should have written a different book entirely.
This book was less about Taoism and personal growth than it was a lesson in learning to ignore people who don't agree with you. And if you didn't know Benjamin Hoff Personally, and never told him the idea of the Toa of Pooh was stupid, then the core message wasn't meant for you. To those who is was meant for, allow me to paraphrase: I told you so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 17 1996
Format: Paperback
If you're like me, you've never really understood the mystical and murky meanings of
Eastern philosophies. I had that humanities class and all, but it never really sunk in while I
was sitting in the lecture hall behind some giggling freshman. These amazingly simple
books have taught me the secrets of life and happiness. Well, not really, but they do
teach you the way to get through life without life getting to you. Better than the Stress
Ball and less expensive than a trip to a swanky health spa, it has been helpful to me. Hoff
explains Taoism through beloved characters from the Winnie-the-Pooh stories by A.A.
Milne. Yes, that's right, Pooh. I know it sounds weird, but it really works. These books
are very charming, funny, and witty. I now understand Taoist philosophy (I think), Pooh,
and Piglet better. I'm sure some Eastern philosophers are annoyed (or rolling over in their
graves) at these books, but, hey, it's the only way Americans are every gonna understand
it at all!
[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SplatW, on Nov. 1 2003
Format: Paperback
Definetly not as good as the first. I really couldn't get over the condecending tone towards the whole loveable cast of my childhood heros. The chapter criticising feminism outraged me highly...It showed the authors obvious lack of understanding of what feminism is, even at its core, much less the understanding that there are an unlimited number of "breeds" of feminism...
The whole book is hypocritical...the author spends all his time complaining about how in the wrong people who complain all the time are...
Don't bother with this one.
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Format: Paperback
This is the kind of book that appeals to deep thinkers. You know the sort, the folks who think that "innuendo" is a brand of Italian suppositories.
If you loved Hoff's anti-scientific ravings which you read under electrically powered lights in an air-conditioned room, then used your computer to post your sycophantic droolings to the internet and do *not* see the stunning inconsistency in your worldview/lifestyle, you will similarly fail to understand the following:
Hoff explains on p.191 how his MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTOR was ambushed by armed thugs and the MARTIAL ARTIST came out ahead *merely because he is small*. His training had nothing to do with it. We are meant to believe Mike Tyson doesn't fight Bantam-weights for *his* *own* *protection*.
The Neo-luddite rant gets old, especially when coupled with Hoff's inability to reason. Yes, I know "reason" is a bourgeois concept but it figures so prominently in the real world. The only contributions of the West worth mentioning are velcro and telescopes. The latter he uses to gaze longingly at a fictionally romanticized China. The former he uses to replace shoelaces. D@amnably pesky, oppressive, and over-complicated shoelaces!
If Hoff is an intellectually stimulating read for you, you need to seriously evaluate your reading list.
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Format: Paperback
This sequel of the masterpiece "Tao of Pooh" beats the original in terms of density of ideas and clarity of presentation. It is nearly double the size of "The Tao of Pooh", hence gave me double the pleasure of reading it. Having read A.A. Milne's Pooh classics, and having thoroughly enjoyed the "Tao of Pooh", it was only natural that I buy this book and have more fun learning about Taoism through the enjoyable adventures of Pooh and Piglet.
This volume focuses on the various Piglet stories, showing us how smallness can be a virtue (Te). It recounts Piglet's myriad adventures: the Heffalump, Owl's house episode, and encounters with Tigger and Eeyore to teach us about philosophical truths: things can look different that what they are, one needs to find their place and live in harmony with nature, etc. Actually, in almost an imperceptible way the author gets us to think about fundamental issues that are at the core of our relationship with the modern world. For example, how the West borrowed early scientific knowledge from the East but did not borrow the philosophical basis behind that knowledge. Since I pursue a science career, this particular issue triggers an important bell for me. One can almost sense an anti-science substratum in the book, yet as a scientist I cannot help agree with the author in many cases. Science today is like a vehicle running amok without a driver. Is this really good for us? Why aren't we even asking ourselves these questions? At least Benjamin Hoff does, and he deserves an open ear.
Of course, not all the ideas are developed into an indisputable treatise. This book is classified as "humor" after all. This is perhaps appropriate since the Taoist attitude to life also depends on humor to some extent. Pooh and Piglet, the humorous characters who do not take themselves seriously are in a way the perfect vehicle to illustrate ancient Taoist principles. This is a highly recommended book!
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