I showed this book to one of my Buddhist friends and he explained what the difference between "pure land" and "Zen" Buddhism. With that knowledge in hand, I re-read this book. I found that what we have come to know here in America as Buddhism is, in truth “Zen” Buddhism. This book is more "pure land" with some ZEN in the back. Its worth the read to get some history and what the rest of the world practices but if your not a Buddhist or your just want somewhere to start to learn about Buddhism this is not the book for you. If you’re familiar with things and want some more "indepthness" then get this.
To visualize the average American reading this book for the first time would be akin to being a Tibetan Buddhist not knowing anything about Christianity but wanting to learn and someone hands you the Dead Sea scrolls.
It’s not a good place to start but it’s a nice middle ground