This is the third volume in a series which is to comprise a comprehensive philosophy of history, each book the study of a particular society. In The Coming Caesars and The Soul of China, de Riencourt founded his approach; here he faces the fascinating task of imposing his pattern of history upon a society which characteristically and consistently lacked a sense of history. He aligns the facts of five thousand years within the framework: the coming of the Aryans represents India's Dark Ages, the Vedic Age its Medieval period, the Upanisads, the Reformation. Buddha symbolized the exhaustion of Culture, seen as organic and dynamic, and the preparation for the next cyclical step -- Civilization, the rigid crystallization of a particular society. The author sees India as having completed the historical cycle in which the West is still enmeshed; her problems are those not of arrested but terminated growth. An astoundingly readable study of history on the grand scale, authoritative and confident -- a stimulating synthesis of one mind's grasp. Comparable to Toynbee.