Jeremy's Reviews > Buddha

Buddha by Karen Armstrong
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's review
Oct 09, 2010

liked it

This is a very short book and also a quick read. It draws from many sources (from ancient texts to modern research) and makes it clear which one is being referenced throughout the work. Armstrong gives a basic biographical sketch and alternates between the matter-of-fact narrative and the mythological stories that exaggerate the events of the Buddha’s life. The book would be incomplete without both, as the legends are allegorical and explain various aspects of Buddhist philosophy.

The best part about the book is that it puts the life of the Buddha in a historical context. Armstrong takes time to explain the major events and trends of the era in relation to her subject. Though I have read other books about the Buddha’s teachings, learning about the background over which those teachings emerged was a nice added value.

For those who are totally unfamiliar with the Buddha’s teachings, you might be a little disappointed with this book and I don’t think I’d recommend it for a total beginner. But it’s perfect for those who have a few hours to spend learning a bit more about the life and times of Gotama.

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message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa hm..did you read thoughts about Buddha in "a crossing or the drop's history" by Anatoliy Obraztsov?

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