Unlike so many meretricious books which purport to be about philosophy but are actually limited to Western philosophy, Smart's book really takes on the philosophical traditions of well nigh the entire human race. It is incredible how any single scholar's mind could be so encyclopedic. From antiquity down to the present day, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Islamic and even African philosophy are covered side by side with Western thought (which is subdivided into its Greek/Roman, European and North American camps), with no partiality being shown towards any tradition. Even 20th-century developments of the non-Western traditions are discussed. Due to the vast scope of this 454-page book, though, individual philosophers are necessarily and somewhat regrettably given only brief treatment (about one-and-a-half pages per thinker on average), the focus being on the larger picture of the development of ideas and of cultures. Still, it would probably be too much to ask for more from a single author, besides which as a compensation hardly a single important philosopher from any tradition has been left out (except Asanga and Vasubandhu from the Buddhist tradition) -- even the less well-known thinkers such as Feuerbach, Merleau-Ponty and Nishida Kitaro are included. (If only two or more authors could co-author this book, so that more could be written about each thinker.) Smart is always fair and sympathetic towards the different traditions as well: you don't find his language changing from cold, dry academic analysis when discussing, say, Africa, to glowing adulation and praise when looking at, say, the ancient Greeks (who else). And if the book appears to have strong religious leanings, hey, what do you expect, a lot of philosophy was and still is tied in to religious concerns. A small number of typographical errors can be found scattered throughout the book, and Smart also seemed to have some trouble with the proper Pinyin romanization of Chinese names and terms, but on the whole these faults are negligible. So all things said, if you simply want to wallow in the enormous wealth of human thought (and not just Western thought, please, for heaven's sake), this is the book.