This book is part of Oxford University Press’ “Very Short Introductions” to just about everything. It is clear and relatively easy to read—and, as promised—short: just 120 pages.
The Buddha: A Very Short Introduction is neither a narrative of the life of the Buddha nor of the early days of the movement he founded. The Buddha’s message and context are considered, along with some of the difficulties of source material. This book was originally published in 1983.
The book would make a good orientation for anybody, and appropriate for a thoughtful college student or young adult interested in Buddhism or world religions or history, or for a friend or relative who is curious.