Manusmṛti ( मनुस्मृति) is the most important and earliest metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra textual tradition of Hinduism. Generally known in English as the Laws of Manu, it was first translated into English in 1794 by Sir William Jones. The text presents itself as a discourse given by the sage called Manu to a group of seers, or rishis, who beseech him to tell them the "law of all the social classes".
Since Manu Smriti is the most misunderstood and most criticized Hindu scripture, one would be surprised to read the following comment of great thinker Friedrich Neitzsche on this text in his famous book "Anti-Christ".
It is with an opposite feeling that I read the law of Manu, an incomparably spiritual and superior work: even to mention it in the same breath with the Bible would be a sin against the spirit. One guesses immediately: there is a real philosophy behind it, in it, not merely an ill-smelling Judaine of rabbinism and superstition—it offers even the most spoiled psychologist something to chew on. Not to forget the main point, the basic difference from every kind of Bible: here the noble classes, the philosophers and the warriors, stand above the mass; noble values everywhere, a feeling of perfection, an affirmation of life, a triumphant delight in oneself and in life—the sun shines on the whole book — all the things on which Christianity vents its unfathomable meanness—procreation, for example, woman, marriage—are here treated seriously, with respect, with love and trust".
Here is verse from this book for those who brand Manu as an oppressor of women which shows they are presenting only one side of the story.
"Women must be honored and adorned by their fathers, brothers , husbands and brothers-in-law, who desire their own welfare.Where women are honored, the Gods are pleased , but where they are not honored, no sacred rite yields rewards"
Manu Smriti ch.3 verse 55
The present ebook has active hyperlinks, which makes it easy to navigate from one chapter to another.