on 20 November 2001
First of all you should be aware that this book was originally published in 1920, and so is not an up to date text on the subject, however it is still interesting for a number of reasons.
First of all as a starting point for studies in the subject matter you could do worse. Although the numerous citations will be even more out of date than the book, the facts presented about various world religions and ancient myths have not changed (although of course, you must be careful in deciding what is fact and what is not). From these starting points you can branch out and learn more. Beware! From my own readings I suspect that this is a road without ending!
The book is not an exhaustive examination of any aspect of the subject matter but rather a rushed and breathy (even sometimes confused) run through. Despite this it still manages to seem a little long winded at times. The subject in question is sometimes subjugated to the authors overall point: That mankinds collective mind has evolved through various stages in the same way in different parts of the world, and that this will continue as we become more mentally or culturally evolved. Sometimes however it is not and the writing is clear, concise and engaging.
The intersting thing is to see in a way, this book as a mirror of it's central point. Our knowledge and understanding has moved on since it was written and as the author looks back from the new secular position of his day with a sense of satisfaction and marvel at man's journey, we feel the same as we regard the traces he shows of 19th century attitudes to race. He has moved on from them but he still has far to go.