This "road map to the American Buddhist landscape" succeeds in being both "engaging and informative," as the author intended. While it could be used as a text for a college class, it will also be of interest to American practitioners of Buddhism (like me) who want to know more about our roots and about the variety of forms of Buddhism in America.
Part One provides background material on the history of Buddhism and its transmission to America and includes a short chapter on "Very Basic Buddhism" for those new to the subject or wanting a refresher. Part Two, the largest part, discusses the various forms of Buddhism in America, with chapters on Jodo Shinshu, Soka Gakkai, Zen, Tibetan, Theravada, and "other Pacific Rim migrations." And Part Three explores some "Selected Issues": gender equity, social engagement, intra-Buddhist and interreligious dialogue, and the Americanization of Buddhism.
Religious historian Richard Hughes Seager provides a revealing and candid portrait of the communities, practices and individuals who are central to the modern Buddhist life, examining not only Buddhist beliefs and history in Asia and the US, but providing profiles of Buddhist traditions which have been brought into the U.S. Buddhism In America rounds out our information and provides important insights into the Americanization of Buddhism and is an important addition to the growing library of Buddhist historical liteature.