Read This If…

  • you enjoy biography
  • you are interested in history and religion
  • you need a good book to read with your kids

Publisher’s Summary

What do Abraham Lincoln, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Louis Pasteur, Frederick Douglass, Florence Nightingale, and John D. Rockefeller Sr. all have in common? They all changed the world–and they were all Christians. Now the little-known stories of faith behind twelve influential people of history are available in one inspiring volume.

They Were Christians reveals the faith-filled motivations behind some of the most outstanding political, scientific, and humanitarian contributions of history. From the founding of the Red Cross to the family crisis that drove America’s favorite president to his knees and cracked his religious skepticism, the fascinating stories of these faithful history-makers will inspire, encourage, and entertain readers of history and biography.

Review

Review by @jvalenti

Several years ago I started to read Christian biography. I have continued on a steady diet as I plan my reading each year. On the other hand, history is not my thing. Last year I tried to read The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns. I couldn’t do it – the extensive detail was too laborious for me. I’m not knocking Doris Kearns – she is a master. But I can’t do it.

Krusan’s book, therefore, is the perfect book for a guy like me who is very interested in Christian biography but who probably isn’t going to read Frank’s 984 page biography of Dostoevsky. If you can – more power to you. For the rest of you, Krusan offers a nice overview of the man’s life and faith.

They Were Christians is a quick read that explored several men and women from world history that are not necessarily known primarily for their faith. Where Krusan excels is concise yet effective writing. While each chapter is only 12-15 pages the reader can walk away feeling as if they know the basic storyline of the subject’s life and how their faith affected that life.

There is little to complain about due to the biographic nature of the book, but I was initially confused by the format of the book. Krusan starts each chapter by detailing how the person he is about to biograph (yes, that is a word. It’s the verb form of biography). Following his personal remarks he moves into the biography itself. At first it was odd, but as the book progresses Krusan’s personal reflections on the impact each person has made on him gives the book a personal touch that keeps the history from becoming stale.

All in all, this is a great book for any reader of any age. The language is accessible enough for young readers and yet robust in content for the seasoned believer.

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