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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.
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on 7 September 2009
I was disappointed with his book as I expected not only a fair account of the Booths' lives but also an interesting picture of 19th century Britain. What I found was a rather negative view of two of the most remarkable Victorians ever; in the writer's view two neglectful parents who were essentially self-obsessed autocrats. There is also the suggestion throughout the book that the Booths and their associates like Railton were more 'half mad' than saintly as they have sometimes been described in other biographies. Notwithstanding the above, it is the style of this book that got me down, the story of the Booths is lost within a strange combination of academic-style work, over-loaded with references and quotations, and an occasionally humorous but often long-winded Sunday newspaper type of writing where the author is trying too hard to show what an awfully clever writer he is and boring you to death in the process. Hence this book is a laboured, over-worded dull volume about a subject the author has no love for at all.
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on 6 February 2014
Roy Hattersley writes an excellent book. Thrilling and very enjoyable. And again your system demands too many words, I will NOT bother in future
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on 27 April 2016
Very detailed and readable book. A must for those interested in the history of the East End of London
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on 24 October 2015
Fantastic service and great quality book for a very small price.
Jim
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on 11 December 2015
Great powerful book , influential and deep
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on 23 June 2015
Bought as a gift.Much appreciated.
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on 15 October 2013
I bought this book on behalf of my friend who heard about it on UCB Christian radio. He liked it but was slightly disappointed that it was a bit cynical. Overall he liked it though.
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on 27 July 2014
Everything fine!
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