Without the loss or addition of a single character the New Analects display an appearance that is utterly different from that of the past—the arguments are fresh, the themes coherent, the ideas clearly differentiated and the exposition lucid.
The author believes that Confucius, in his old age, was prevented from editing his sayings into a coherent whole because of the early death of his favorite pupil and that The Analects remained an unsorted collection of lecture notes. The result has been to present Confucian thought in a haphazard way that he believes has left generations of Western scholars with the impression that The Analects are illogical and lack profundity.
The author has reconstructed and rearranged the text thematically and distinguishes between what Confucius himself said and what his pupils said. He has also added a commentary which vividly illustrates the philosophical strands of thought that go to make up Confucianism as a whole.