One of my non-Jewish co-workers has been fascinated with Jewish ethics, and I assume that while searching on the web, he discovered "Ethics of the Fathers". He's read a few adages and has discussed them with me. He's indicated an interest in knowing more about this book.
I'd like to get him a copy of Pirkei Avot, in English, of course (it could have Hebrew on a facing page, if "needed"). He needs something "simple" that he can understand as someone unfamiliar with Jewish life or laws.
I think that an explanation that not only accurately translates the Hebrew but also provides some brief historical context to both Pirkei Avot, in general, as well as some bio / history on each Rabbi's saying (so he can get a sense of when the rabbi lived; who he was and what important events may have caused him to state what he did) would be useful.
There are numerous versions of Pirkei Avot around, and I am uncertain of which version would be the best option for a "novice". I'd appreciate any recommendation with a short explanation of why you recommend this version over any others.
Note: - I'm interested in a physical book form only; not Kindle or just a web resource.