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His writing is fluid and at times witty, and the density of the book's detail calls for a close reading...a lively and significant study...(Michael J. Sweet Buddhadharma)
A 'must-read' book(Practical Matters)
A detailed and engrossing story about this enigmatic figure's life.(David M. DiValerio Journal of Buddhist Ethics)
Hackett's sympathetic account is a page-turner, meticulously documented over a number of years... Well-written... A readable intellectual account of the life of an ambitious Tibetological pioneer.(Asian Ethnology)
Hackett's work is excellently detailed... [his] construction of Theos' story is so interesting it reads both as a novel and as an academic biography.(Nova Religio)
This narrative jumps off the page, and Paul G. Hackett is at his best as he tells this story, weaving his account of Theos Bernard's many encounters with exceptional men into the broader context of espionage, diplomatic maneuvering, and political upheaval in the 'Great Game.' The sketches he gives of, among other things, expatriate society in Kalimpong, the wrenching final days of the British Raj, the Chinese takeover of Tibet, and especially central characters in Bernard's adventures are remarkably well drawn. Yet it is always Bernard himself who steals the show.(David Gordon White, J. F. Rowney Professor of Comparative Religion, University of California, Santa Barbara)|
Well-written and lively, integrating with apparent ease the alternative American religious scene in the first half of the twentieth century and the unfolding of events in the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayas, and Tibet.(Heather Stoddard, Head of Tibetan Studies, National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations)|
Building on prodigious research, Paul G. Hackett has produced an utterly fascinating account of Theos Bernard, the spiritual adventurer who introduced the mysteries of Tibet to America and the world. This book, by a skilled historian and an engaging writer, significantly enhances our understanding of America's religious turn to the East in the latter half of the twentieth century.(Randall Balmer, author of The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond)|
Paul G. Hackett presents the compelling story of the early years of the American exploration of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist spirituality through the figure of one of its most colorful but forgotten adventurers--a real-life 'Indiana Jones'! Early twentieth-century counterculture, Tibetan Buddhism, and the birth of yoga in the West makes for a rich field in which persons and stories abound, and Hackett masterfully paints a picture of that world in very human terms. Part mystic, part explorer, and part con man, Theos Bernard comes to life in a tale that is both captivating and enlightening. It is a must read for anyone interested in Eastern religions in America.(Robert A. F. Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Columbia University) See all Product Description