Theravāda Buddhism: A Social History, by Richard Gombrich

gombrich-theravada-social-history-2Erudite and opinionated, Richard Gombrich takes on an amazing swath of history—from ancient Benares to modern Colombo—in this book. He pays disproportionate attention to the origins and early days of Buddhism, but provides a solid overview for the more recent two millennia. His insights are interesting and grounded, whether one agrees with him, or not quite.

Gombrich, Richard. Theravāda Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. New York: Routledge, 2006. 256 pages.

Second edition revised, originally published in 1988.