A true classic of religious scholarship and psychology that is both relevant and readable. James explores many psychological and philosophical characteristics of the religious experience, and shows at least some of its variety in terms of its extreme and benign forms.
This leaves us with an essential account of what religion truly means and the way in which it is or can be intertwined with social, political and other factors. It lets us unravel such threads in an effective way, and shows us that religion in its essence is not the cause behind all the world's evil and/or good. Rather, religion is a fundamental dimension of consciousness that is relevant to many people, of various backgrounds.
It's difficult to give a good impression of a book like this in a bite-size review. Let me just say that it is one I would recommend to anyone who is willing to take a serious look at religion as a human phenomenon, without passing judgement beforehand.