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William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner [Hardcover]

William Hague


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 582 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) (16 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151012679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151012671
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.5 x 3.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,784,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

DIFFERENT OFFER (see description & picture by BookGems): Edition Harper Press (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), 2007. The new and unread book remains in near fine condition. Immaculate throughout. Prompt dispatch from UK.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilberforce: A man for all seasons 5 Aug 2008
By B. D. Weimer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
William Wilberforce was the ideal political reformer. He brought together an amazing combination of strengths: personal wealth, a friendly personality, good connections, moral seriousness, rhetorical skill, a sincere faith, a practical mind, and a bulldog's tenacity.

William Hague does an excellent job highlighting all of these qualities. Hague may be the perfect author to write such a book. He is an experienced politician, having held many positions in the British government since 1989, including leader of the Conservative Party.

Although Hague clearly appreciates Wilberforce's great political skill, a large portion of his book focuses on Wilberforce's moral and spiritual struggles, which propelled him forward into a life of effective service. Almost single-handedly, he brought moral concerns into the mainstream of British politics. Best known is his successful campaign to end the British slave trade. Less well known were his many rational reforms of the criminal laws, eliminating many forms of cruel and disproportionate punishment.

Hague shows that Wilberforce used great wisdom in integrating his Christian beliefs with his political efforts. He was not ashamed of his faith, but he used a light touch in his personal relations, including his lifelong friendship with William Pitt the Younger. Wilberforce maintained that strong friendship, even though Pitt did not share his Evangelical faith, by focusing on their common interests and common love of politics.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 5 Sep 2008
By American Bandersnatch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was surprised by how interesting and enjoyable this book was - I was concerned that over 500 pages devoted to the life of a long-dead Evangelical English parliamentarian would be very dry. However, Hague does a fine job both capturing Wilberforce's life as well as providing the proper context of late 18th century / early 19th century England.

I think the reason it appealed to me in particular was that it filled in a number of gaps in my knowledge of the time. I was familiar with the military side of the Napoleonic wars (and have read all the Hornblower and Aubrey/Maturin books) as well as the American perspective on the American Revolution and the War of 1812. This book gave an excellent perspective of the debates and policies of the British government during those tumultuous years and how the country reacted to the major domestic and international developments.

Definitely worth a read.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly 16 Aug 2008
By Gary Strickland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Lincoln once said that "everyone should know Wilberforce." (p. 511) William Hague has afforded the present generation the second-best way to get to know Wilberforce; a magnificently written biography of the man. While the most insightful means to "know Wilberforce" is to know his God, in no small measure Hague reveals the God of William Wilberforce by disclosing the man. The man, as it turns out, in his life manifested the efficacy of pure religion put into practice.

The author is no neophyte to historical biography, having previously offered a highly-regarded biography of William Pitt the Younger (Knopf - February 8, 2005 - "[A] first-class work of history; informative, well written and captivating." --Alistair Horne, The Times London). In this his accounting of the life of Wilberforce, Hague informatively, with graceful style, leads the reader to an understanding of why many of his contemporaries regarded him on a par with the greatest statesmen of the age; in the end, he was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey.

William Wilberforce is quite rightly remembered for his untiring efforts to bring about the end of British-sanctioned slave trading in 1807. For that accomplishment alone he should be recalled. However, beyond the accomplishment lies the value of studying the life of one who was unusually devoted to higher principles; in many respects, the life of Wilberforce exhibits that one can have one's vision focused on heavenly values while having one's feet planted within the realities of earthly existence. For those who long for political leadership ennobled by trustworthy character traits, this is a worthy model. Think, for example, of a leader who is aware of his abilities, recognizes his limitations, has no greater ambition than to do good for his fellow beings, is tender yet unbending, principled yet practical, bipartisan and independent yet not radical, and honest to the core; that's the Wilberforce model.

This is the man who declared the following in a speech given during his only contested contest for his seat in Commons:

"Gentlemen, so long as you thus understand the constitution under which you live, and know its nature, so long you will be safe and happy; and notwithstanding the varieties of political opinion which will ever exist in the free country, you will present a firm and united front against every foreign enemy. Great countries are perhaps never conquered solely from without, and while this spirit of patriotism and its effects continue to flourish, you may, with the favour pf Providence, bid defiance to the power of the greatest of our adversaries." (p. 368).

William Wilberforce fought to eradicate the greatest evils of his age with uncompromising dignity, eloquence, and wisdom unequalled in the annals of legislative leadership. Mr. Hague's biography brings to light the value of such leadership. The work also brings to light the underlying beliefs and values that created the man and his legacy.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read if you are a fan of William Wilberforce 23 Sep 2008
By Robert P. Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The first biography that I ever read about William Wilberforce was by John Piper in his Swans are Not Silent series titled "The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce". Prior to reading that book I had never even heard about William Wilberforce. I was very intrigued to read more about this man. I then went and bought Wilberforce's book on a Practical View of Christianity edited by Kevin Belmont and started to read some of it. Some time passed after this and when I heard that the movie about Wilberforce was coming out I thought that I would look at some of the other biographies on him. I have read biography's by Kevin Belmont, Eric Metaxas, Sir Reginald Coupland, Garth Lean, and the book titled "Saints in Politics: The Clapham Sect and the growth of Freedom" by Earnest Marshall Howse. Each biography is like looking through a different window into the world of Wilberforce and his life and I have found them very interesting reading and very revealing into the man and his character and the historical settings and Christian history of the time. I have also been able to download the 5 volume biography by his sons and have only skimmed some of it thus far. My goal is to tackle it at some point as well.

I am about half way through this biography by Hauge on Willberforce. I am presently reading along with Haugue's biography, John Pollock's and will then tackle Robin Furneaux's. I believe one thing that stands out in Hauge's biography is a very good understanding and telling of the historical goings on of the time better than any of the other biographys that I have read thus far. Hauge does not assume that you know a lot about the history and the issues facing the British parliament at that time which I greatly appreciate. Maybe Furneaux's will give this as well but if you want a good picture of the historical settings and the happenings in parliament then this is the one to read. I also appreciate how Hauge shows the clear picture of Wilberforce's evangelical, Calvinistic Reformed faith in the God of the Bible and his faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins. He also shows his wrestling's in his desire to walk with God in faith and obedience. He also shows his desire to tell others about his faith and his understanding that faith in Jesus Christ was the true answer to the problems which are the same for today. He shows Wilberforce's true belief in a Sovereign God and His providence regarding the historical facts during that time and how they affected his life which are no different for today.

This book is well written with very up to date language and it has been a very good read thus far. It is well researched and the bibliography is massive. I don't know how long it took him to put it all together but it is clear it took some time. It is clear that he did not just read Wilberforce's sons biography to put this together. The quotations are many and detailed. Hauge's own experience in Parliament is clear and his comparisons from then to today are very enlightening. His breakdown of Wilberforce's speech to parliament is so revealing and reveals how brilliant a speech it was. The book is worth reading just for that information alone. Also his careful handlings of opinions on why Wilberforce made certain decisions then are very balanced. I highly recommend reading this biography. I also have purchased his biography on Pitt and look forward to reading it as well. Buy it and read it, you won't be disappointed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Powerful 8 Nov 2009
By A. Morgan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have just finished this large, 500 page biography of William Wilberforce. William hague, the author, is an MP in the British Houses of Parliament and former leader of the Conservative Party. He represents Yorkshire (as did William Wilberforce) and this is Hague's second major work. His first was a biography of William Pitt the Younger, friend and contemporary of Wilberforce as well as Englands youngest Prime Minister. His first book was excellent and this is equally good. Of course, if you have seen the film Amazing Grace then you may feel you need not read the biography - wrong! Hague shows the depth of faith which Wilberforce had - the struggles of spear heading the abolition movement and the intense humility of the man, as well as his integrity.

Hague truly unpacks Wilberforce - in a very thorough manner and this book is well worth the journey and time. Hague is turning into an accomplished historian / biographer - I wonder who he will tackle next!!
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