The Spring and Autumn Annals
The Spring and Autumn Annals is a record of history before the Qin Dynasty. Because of the damages to the book due to the development of time, some of the chapters have been lost and now only the history of Lu exists now. It is one of the classics of the Confucian School.
It is believed that The Spring and Autumn Annals was written and edited by Confucius. It is the earliest form of annals in China. Although the greatness of the book is undoubted, as well as being a useful form of documentation for historians, the fact that there is no complete version of it frustrates many.
It is generally believed that Confucius didn't write this book solely for recording history, with his own opinions also expressed within the book. He generally expressed his intention to protect unity. The words and sentences in this book are often concise and short. The events recorded in this book are generally simple and brief and in some cases can be hard to understand. There are also some books specially written in order to explain the book, such as Zuo Zhuan and Gongyang Zhuan.
Even though it is one of the classic history books, it has in fact divided opinion, even to this day. Wang Anshi, one of most famous poets and politicians said it was just an old, decayed book which has no reference value. Some consider it to be not only a precious document to study history, but also an important point of reference when studying the thoughts of Confucius. Even though the words and sentences of the book are simple and brief, they are a blend of his inner thoughts. In some cases you can understand his attitude from just one word. Some people call his methods "the spring and autumn style" in reference to those who hide their attitudes in a clever way.
Even though it is a well-known classic in history, it is argued that more research into the annals needs to be done. There are many disputes about whether it is a book of history or a book of politics. As a book which serves great value to the history of philosophy and politics, there is no doubt that it deserves much more attention.