The Buddhist monk Tanxu surmounted extraordinary obstacles-poverty, wars, famine, and foreign occupation-to become one of the most prominent monks in China, founding numerous temples and schools, and attracting crowds of students and disciples wherever he went. In this book, James Carter draws on untapped archival materials to provide a book that is part travelogue, part history, and part biography of this remarkable man. Tanxu lived in a time of almost constant warfare-from the Sino-Japanese War of 1895, to the Boxer Uprising, the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese occupation, and World War II. He and his followers were robbed by river pirates, and waylaid by bandits on the road. Caught in the struggle between nationalist and communist forces, Tanxu finally sought refuge in the British colony of Hong Kong. At the time of his death, at the age of 87, he was revered as "Master Tanxu," one of Hong Kong's leading religious figures. Capturing all this in a magnificent biography, Carter gives first-person immediacy to one of the most turbulent periods in Chinese history.