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Publisher's Summary

This rich, timely, and highly original portrait of the Buddha explores both the archetypal religious icon and Buddha the man. In lucid and compelling prose, Armstrong brings to life the Buddha's quest, from his renunciation of his privileged life to the discovery of a truth that he believed would utterly transform human beings and enable them to live at peace in the midst of life's suffering. Buddha also expands to focus and meditate on the culture and history of the time, as well as the Buddha's place in the spiritual history of humanity, and the special relevance of his teachings to our own society as we again face a crisis of faith.
©2001 Karen Armstrong (P)2001 Books on Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Religious historian Armstrong succeeds brilliantly in creating a compelling and illuminating portrait." (Booklist)
"This handsome and solid portrait is sure to become a classic; it is a refined and readable biography of a pivotal character in human history." (Publishers Weekly)
"Armstrong combines the abilities of storyteller, historian, and interpreter of Buddhist thought to create a work that is both fascinating and informative." (Library Journal)
"[A] fascinating biography....Kate Reading superbly moves along the text, keeping pace with Armstrong's ideas and hypotheses." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Fred on 03-15-05

Buddha (Unabridged)

Karen Armstrong's book Buddha is a treasure for anyone interested in learning about the Buddha from simultaneously a historic, an anthropologic, a philosophic, a spiritual, and an esoteric perspective. The book's unfolding traces an easy to follow spiritual and esoteric contextual time-line that covers the human condition from known history. Karen Armstrong narrates and explains a very plausible version of the Buddha's life and demonstrates a sensible mastery of the Buddhist Teachings. I remain grateful that her book was made available in audio format. I will buy the printed version as a companion to the audio format. I was also absolutely delighted with Kate Redding's reading of this book. Ms. Redding has captured the spirit of this book in her reading. I'm looking forward to listen to and then read Karen Armstrong's other books. Too bad that Ms. Redding isn't reading her other books. Ms. Armstrong and Ms. Redding thank you so much for touching my soul and mind in my quest for spirituality.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By JerryT on 01-23-05

Eminently Listenable

Karen Armstrong, the eminently readable writer of history becomes the eminently listenable with this narrator. Excellent narration. "Eminently readable" in no way demeans the abilities of the author as historian. What she does bring to the stage is a history like one written by Barbara Tuchman which provides a fresh and interesting eye on history without the pendantic mumblings of (too often) the traditional historian. Given the huge number of books on the religion, Buddhism, the insights of a religious hisorian like Armstrong are especially useful. Also recommended is her "Jerusalem" (uncertain if available in audio format).

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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