This little book about the new Archbishop of Canterbury is of great value to Anglicans as well as non-Anglicans. Williams is a world-class Christian theologian (the first to occupy Canterbury since William Temple during WWII), but he's also a fine social commentator and evocative poet. Shortt's treatment provides a good overview of Williams' career as academic, parish priest (putting the lie to those who claim that Williams has no pastoral experience), and bishop. This information will fill in many gaps for readers who have only vague ideas of where Williams came from. More important, however, is Shortt's treatment of Williams' philosophy, theology, spirituality, and politics. Williams comes across as a very traditional defender of the Anglican via media when it comes to ecclesiological issues, but as something of a mystic in matters theological. He's very taken, for example, with the mystery--contradiction, a secular logician might say--that lies at the heart of Christianity: God become human, the darkness of faith as brilliance, and so on. One suspects that his mystical leanings stem from both his Welsh background and his absorption of Eastern Christianity, both Greek and Russian Orthodoxy. A pleasant surprise along the way is Shortt's brief discussion of the influence of Gillian Rose on Williams. I wasn't familiar with Rose's work before this book. She's well worth reading in her own right.