cover image The Te of Piglet

The Te of Piglet

Benjamin Hoff. Dutton/Signet, $19.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-525-93496-7

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. (Sept.)