by Rick Fields
"This fascinating book delivers more than it promises. It takes the reader from the origins of Buddhism right up to the immediate past, through Buddhism's growth and spread in Asia to the personalities that opened it up to the West and those that brought it to America as well as those who were affected by Buddhism or nurtured it here. Fields possesses a clear style and infectious enthusiasm for his subject." -Library Journal
The book is broken into two sections. Book One deals with the early history of Buddhism up to the beginning of the twentieth century. Book Two picks up the story in the twentieth century and introduces the more familiar characters of early Buddhism in the West: Sokei-An, Alan Watts, D. T. Suzuki and Nyogen Senzaki. This part continues with well-known names such as Yasutani, Maezumi, Suzuki, Baker, the Dali Lama, Chogyam Trungpa, Hsuan Hua, the 'Beat Zen' movement of people such as Allan Ginsberg, Kerouac and Gary Snyder and finishes off the narrative with the Vietnamese masters, including Thich Nhat Hanh. The last chapter updates the story to the early 1990's in this updated edition.
434 pages, paperback