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For the past two thousand years and more, the figure of Gautama, the Buddha, has attracted hagiographers and legend-makers whose writings have, for the most part, left readers with a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration. At the same time, there has been a flood of arcane scholarship on particular aspects of the Buddha's life, times, and teaching which has left the ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published November 20th 1997 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published 1994)
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Aug 24, 2014 Shelley Schanfield rated it really liked it
The first biography of the Buddha that I read was this one, written in 1937 but reprinted in 1994. It has a rather charming, post-Edwardian tone. Singh (1912-2001), an Indian journalist, portrays the Buddha and his era with elegant charm. According to this account (as well as Karen Armstrong's Buddha, discussed elsewhere), Siddhartha Gautama was not the prince of legend, but the son of an elected leader of a clan. The Buddha's time and place was actually a transition period from independent ...more