Monks are commonly thought of as sheltered from the world, but Master Tanxu, born Wang Futing in northeastern China in 1845, was fully engaged with the events of his age. He lived through three wars, finally fleeing the Communist armies in an American army plane and starting life over in the British colony of Hong Kong. As an old man, he became one of Hong Kong's most important religious leaders. He died in 1963, revered as "Master" Tanxu. James Carter's detective work has led him to untapped archival materials and to Tanxu's pupil and successor, Master Lok To, who helped Carter in his research. The resulting book is part travelogue, part history, and part biography of this remarkable man.

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