Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment
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About the Author
Robert E. Wright is the Rudy and Marlyn Nef Family Chair of Political Economy in the Division of Social Sciences at Augustana College and is a curator for the Museum of American Finance. He is the author of scores of articles, entries, reviews, and chapters, and has authored or coauthored nine books. Wright has written for Barron's, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes.com, and other prominent publications, and has appeared on NPR, C-SPAN, and the BBC.
--Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Authentic Happiness
"Robert Wright brings his sharp wit and love of analysis to good purpose, making a compelling case for the nuts and bolts of how meditation actually works. This book will be useful for all of us, from experienced meditators to hardened skeptics who are wondering what all the fuss is about."
--Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society and bestselling author of Real Happiness
"Joyful and insightful... both entertaining and informative."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A well-organized, freshly conceived introduction to core concepts of Buddhist thought.... Wright lightens the trek through some challenging philosophical concepts with well-chosen anecdotes and a self-deprecating humor."
"This is exactly the book that so many of us are looking for. Writing with his characteristic wit, brilliance, and tenderhearted skepticism, Robert Wright tells us everything we need to know about the science, practice, and power of Buddhism."
--Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet
"What happens when someone steeped in evolutionary psychology takes a cool look at Buddhism? If that person is, like Robert Wright, a gifted writer, the answer is this surprising, enjoyable, challenging, and potentially life-changing book."
--Peter Singer, professor of philosophy at Princeton University and author of Ethics in the Real World
"Cool, rational, and dryly cynical, Robert Wright is an unlikely guide to the Dharma and 'not-self.' But in this extraordinary book, he makes a powerful case for a Buddhist way of life and a Buddhist view of the mind. With great clarity and wit, he brings together personal anecdotes with insights from evolutionary theory and cognitive science to defend an ancient yet radical world-view. This is a truly transformative work."
--Paul Bloom, professor of psychology at Yale University and author of Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion
"What a terrific book. The combination of evolutionary psychology, philosophy, astute readings of Buddhist tradition, and personal meditative experience is absolutely unique and clarifying."
--Jonathan Gold, professor of religion at Princeton University and author of Paving the Great Way: Vasubandhu's Unifying Buddhist Philosophy
"A sublime achievement."
--Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
"Provocative, informative and... deeply rewarding.... I found myself not just agreeing [with] but applauding the author."
--The New York Times Book Review
"A fantastically rational introduction to meditation.... It constantly made me smile a little, and occasionally chuckle.... A wry, self-deprecating, and brutally empirical guide to the avoidance of suffering."
--Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine
"[A] superb, level-headed new book."
--Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian
"Delightfully personal, yet broadly important."
"[Why Buddhism is True] will become the go-to explication of Buddhism for modern western seekers, just as The Moral Animal remains the go-to explication of evolutionary psychology."
"[Written] with such intelligence and grace."
"A light, accessible guide for anyone interested in the practical benefits of meditation."
"[Wright's] argument contains many interesting and illuminating points."
--The Washington Post
"Amusing and straight-forward.... Anyone... can safely dip their toes in the water here."
"Regardless of their own religious or spiritual roots, many open-minded readers who accompany [Wright] on this journey will find themselves agreeing with him."
"Rendered in a down-to-earth and highly readable style, with witty quips and self-effacing humility that give the book its distinctive appeal and persuasive power."
"Beautifully written and persuasively argued, Why Buddhism is True is the most accessible book on some of Buddhism's extraordinary, even radical, claims.... Powerful, eloquent, spiritual and scientific... A creative and compelling exploration of the Buddha's mind."
--The Tribune (India)