This stellar book grew out of Smith's The World's Religions (the revised and expanded edition of his classic, The Religions of Man). The first 12 chapters present his outstanding survey of the life and fundamental teachings of the "Perfectly Enlightened One," basic Buddhist concepts, and the major divisions of Buddhism (e.g., Mahayana, Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan), largely unchanged from the chapter on Buddhism in The World's Religions. The remarkably clear, well-written, and understandable text presents an expanded treatment of Theravada Buddhism as well as additional quotations from Buddhist scriptures. Novak, one of Smith's students and a professor of philosophy and religion, is the primary author of the final six chapters, all-new sections on the migration of Buddhism to the West. Impressively, this informative portion with its emphasis on Buddhism in America lives up to the standards of lucidity so evident in earlier chapters. An insightful afterword on Japanese Pure Land Buddhism and an excellent annotated bibliography of suggested readings complete the package. Highly recommended for all collections, even those owning The Religions of Man, serving general readers from high school through research libraries.-James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of North Carolina at Asheville Lib. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.