Anne Bancroft does a wonderful job of giving us the ACTUAL words of the Buddha and only the Buddha. She selflessly steps aside and let's Buddha's words speak for themselves. Many introductory books on Buddhism or Buddha's teaching are filled with miles and miles and miles and miles of commentary and interpretation by the editors as if they themselves were the enlightened one and Buddha is just an afterthought. They go on and on about what they think Buddhism is and what they think Buddha means and what we should think about what the Buddha said. Occasionally we'll get a snippet of what Buddha actually said, usually only to support the author's interpretation. In many of these books I wondered when if ever I would ever read what Buddha actually said. Buddha was a very literate and lucid speaker. I think most anyone can understand his words if you can just get your hands on what he actually said. We don't need miles of interpretation, commentary and present day scenarios. Buddha's words are as valid today as they were 2500+ years ago. Anyone can understand them if you could just read them in a simple and comfortably arranged fashion like this book. With only a wonderfully brief 2-1/2 page preface, we get right into what Buddha actually said. What a concept! Kudos to Anne Bancroft. Anne does a great job of culling out great gems from the vast Buddhist texts. It's an introductory book, so the deepest teachings are only hinted at here and there but they're there. You begin feeling calm and well as the the Buddha was supremely calm and well in mind, body and soul. Books of commentary probably have there place somewhere but it is really nice to have an editor just let the words speak for themselves. If you want the truth, plain and simple, with a book that you can read again and again even ten years from now, get this book. Thank You Anne Bancroft.
This will be a welcome addition to your Buddhist book collection. Anne Bancroft has done a wonderful job of collecting and arranging some of the Buddha's most enlightening sayings. I must say that I enjoyed reading this more thna any other book on the topic in recent memory. I promise you that you will want to buy more than one copy of this book, as you will find your self handing it out to everyone of your friends and family who ask the question, "Say what is that Buddhism all about?" Enjoy. . .