This book is part biography of the founder of Buddhism, and part introduction to the early history and teachings of the religion. It is a short, consice introduction, well suited to the curious and learned alike. One of the outstanding aspects of this volume, is the author's retelling of the historical background of the Buddhist faith, which places Buddhism squarely in the Vedic/Hindu tradition. By choosing this route, the author is able to show how Buddhism was simultaneously traditional and revolutionary. Highly recommended.