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A surprisingly Interesting Book for a non Salvationist
on 1 July 2000
I was prompted to read this book due to the fact that I have several unconnected friends who are members of the Salvation Army. I see the total committment and the sparkle in their eye when they talk of Jesus Christ and the work that the Army does in His name, not only in evangelising but in the broader social aspect of their work. I suppose hitherto it had been easy to dismiss the Salvation Army as interfering do gooders.
Roy Hattersley has written an excellent book which reads very well and unlike other books on, perhaps, this kind of subject sustains an interest throughout. I personally had no conception of the amount of difficulties that the Salvation Army faced in its work in the 19th century and it is testimony to the early members that they continue today, albeit in the more difficult circumstances of materialism and denial Of God.
This book has an appeal beyond members of the Army who will be sure to read it. The only thing I would say and it must be difficult , depending on the sources used, and that is I feel that I haven't got to know William Booth himself, apart from the obvious facts that he was totally dedicated to God's work and had the support of a supremely brave wife and colleagues in fulfilling the mission that they believed was given to them. Perhaps I would have liked to see a more personal William, but this may be my failing in trying to read quickly as the book is most absorbing.
However, I am surprised, or maybe I shouldn't be , that this appears to be one of the first reviews of this book. Maybe members of the Army are to modest to review it. They shouldn't be. This is a timely biography/history that will bring the trials and tribulations of William Booth a little closer to a modern audience who hitherto have failed to grasp the full significance of William and Catherine Booth's work.