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Billy Graham: His Life and Influence [Hardcover]

By David Aikman (Author)
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Item description for Billy Graham: His Life and Influence by David Aikman...

Overview
If there were such a job as the nation's pastor, Billy Graham would be the prime candidate.

Having known more American presidents, foreign leaders, and famous people than any other American living or dead, he has been uniquely able to speak to the heart of the average person and bring peace and clarity to a nation in trying times. Graham's ministry flourished during a challenging period in the American experience, when the nation was coming to terms with its unexpected new strength in the world and grappling with the most serious racial and social upheavals since the Civil War. Now acclaimed author and former Time magazine senior correspondent David Aikman sheds new and deserved light on that influence, probing critical episodes of Graham's life that help explain his profound impact, both on the public life of America and other nations and the private lives of their cultural and political leaders. Aikman's previous books, Jesus in Beijing and A Man of Faith have been praised by Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, and First Things.

Publishers Description

If there were such a job as the nation's pastor, Billy Graham would be the prime candidate.

Having known more American presidents, foreign leaders, and famous people than any other American living or dead, he has been uniquely able to speak to the heart of the average person and bring peace and clarity to a nation in trying times. Graham's ministry flourished during a challenging period in the American experience, when the nation was coming to terms with its unexpected new strength in the world and grappling with the most serious racial and social upheavals since the Civil War. Now acclaimed author and former Time magazine senior correspondent David Aikman sheds new and deserved light on that influence, probing critical episodes of Graham's life that help explain his profound impact, both on the public life of America and other nations and the private lives of their cultural and political leaders. Aikman's previous books, Jesus in Beijing and A Man of Faith have been praised by Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, and First Things.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   356
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.57" Width: 6.33" Height: 1.21"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 9, 2007
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0849917026  
ISBN13  9780849917028  
UPC  9780849917028  


Availability  0 units.


More About David Aikman


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Aikman is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with wide knowledge and deep experience of the politics and religion of China. He served more than two decades as a foreign correspondent with TIME Magazine, reporting from five continents on many dramatic world events. Most recently, he authored "Jesus in Beijing, How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the World Balance of Power "and the best-seller "A Man of Faith: The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush.""

David Aikman currently resides in Burke Lovettsville, in the state of Virginia. David Aikman was born in 1944.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > People, A-Z > ( G ) > Graham, Billy
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Inspirational


Christian Product Categories
Books > Inspiration > Motivation > Biography & Autobiography



Reviews - What do customers think about Billy Graham: His Life and Influence?

An insightful look at Billy Graham, the person...  Dec 21, 2007
There's little doubt that Billy Graham has had a significant impact on culture and world evangelism. In the book Billy Graham: His Life and Influence, David Aikman explores Graham's life and philosophies that led him to become one of the most influential voices of our time. What I appreciated most about Aikman's work is that he doesn't attempt to paint Graham as the perfect saint who could do no wrong. Like all men, Graham had his struggles and trials...

Contents:
A Life Of Influence; A Child of the 1920s; Conversion and the First Steps; A National Phenomenon; Harringay and the World; Theology and Race; Communism - A New Approach; The Presidents - Part 1 - Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon; The Presidents - Part 2 - Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan; The Presidents - Part 3 - George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush; National Consoler; Family and Legacy; Acknowledgments; Notes; Index

Aikman defines his territory and goal for the book and sticks with it very well. Rather than attempt to be a comprehensive biography of Graham's life, he recommends you read William Martin's A Prophet with Honor. Instead, he delves into how Graham grew from a small-town fundamentalist evangelist to become a globally-known evangelist and respected statesman, with regular access to every president since Eisenhower as well as many world leaders. Graham's ever-present goal was to be able to preach the gospel wherever he was, with no restrictions on what he could and couldn't say. That's easier said than done, as he broke new ground by being allowed to preach in Russia and China, places where freedom of religion was not practiced. The balancing act was trying to not offend his hosts by denouncing their governments, while trying not to offend the American government who didn't want him to be used as a propaganda tool during the Cold War. While ultimately he was able to preach, his attempts to balance those conflicting forces were not always well executed.

Within American culture, he gained a level of accessibility to presidents not duplicated by any other single person in history. While his relationships with each president varied in terms of closeness and trust, he was always there to provide counseling and wisdom when needed. In his later years, this counseling and consoler role played out in public during the 9/11 tragedies and his addresses given during national remembrances. Given the American public's disdain for mixing politics and religion, it's amazing that Graham was accepted in this role. If you were to try and replicate his experience in today's society, my guess is that the media would shred him over any minor misstep or misstatement. But given that his stature was developed and earned in a much different atmosphere than today, he's been able to retain his dignity and honor in these more cynical times.

Aikman is sympathetic to Graham's image, but he's not afraid to look at areas where things didn't work out as Graham would have believed. For instance, Graham was very close friends with Richard Nixon, and still has problems reconciling the Nixon he thought he knew as a friend with the Nixon revealed on the Watergate tapes. Overseas trips to communist countries often had him giving views on religious freedom that didn't accurately portray the reality of the persecution that was occurring. Aikman summarizes many of these issues as the outcome of Graham's apparent need to be liked by people. Rather than be blunt and confrontational on issues where it might have been warranted, he often sidestepped the issue to avoid dissension. But measured against the whole person, Graham comes across as a sincere man of God, far from perfect, but always willing to follow God's leading and commands to share the gospel with others.

I'd recommend this book for both Christians and non-Christians who are interested in Billy Graham, the person. You'll come away with a much deeper appreciation for someone who has given their life for what they believe...
 
America's Pastor  Dec 13, 2007
Billy Graham: His Life and Influence
David Aikman, former Time Magazine senior correspondent, has written a very readable and comprehensive life of the famous evangelist. Graham's progress from farm boy to friend and counselor for presidents is an American success story on one level. On another, his career illuminates the Protestant religious temper of a majority of the people in the United States during the twentieth century. That temper contributed to Graham's success, but as an evangelist, Graham also shaped the spirit and direction of his times.

The book is well balanced. Aikman notes both Billy Graham's strengths and weaknesses as he chronicles Graham's life and its impact on society in America and in other nations over more than fifty years. He also portrays Ruth Graham Bell, Billy's remarkable wife, and gives the reader insights into the partnership which enabled Graham to succeed.

The book is fascinating reading whether one is a devoted Graham admirer or not since it offers a remarkable analysis of Graham's influence on culture and events during the last century
 

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