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The Beautiful Soul of John Woolman, Apostle of Abolition
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The Beautiful Soul of John Woolman, Apostle of Abolition

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  7 reviews
JohnWoolman was one of the most significant Americans of the eighteenth century, though he was not a famous politician, general, scientist, or man of letters, and he never held public office. This superb book makes it clear why he mattered so much.

A humble tailor known at first only to the other Quakers who encountered him at meetings in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New E
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Hill and Wang (first published September 16th 2008)
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Boring. Tons of historical context and analysis, very skimpy on actual life story. Needed an introduction. Failed to convince me of Woolman's significance. I gave up halfway through.
This is a penetrating study to say the least. This humble Quaker from New Jersey had a domino-like influence on Quakers and then on society as well. Great movements for social justice had to begin somewhere and Woolman was a starting point for many of them. Slaughter does a good job of analyzing his inspirations, which can be linked to Jesus Christ and the early Christians.
Jon Edward
I was interrupted for a long time while reading this book. I need to read it again to write a thoughtful review.

Two things I enjoyed learning about: Woolman's ministry and Quakers generally in early 18th century America. Boring genealogical: my mother's forebears lived in Burlington at the same time Woolman did. As I read, I wondered what contact they had with him.
Tim and Popie Stafford
John Woolman was a Quaker lived in New Jersey before the Revolutionary War. Best known for his effective advocacy of anti-slavery among Quakers (who banned it among their members not long after his death). He was also a mystic and a remarkable St Francis type. This bio is gentle, slow moving, thoughtful.
This book spends far too much time recounting Woolman's theological arguments. If I'd wanted that, I'd have read the Journal.

The book is at its best when its giving us the theological and historical context for Woolman. More of the latter would have been an improvement.
This book does a thorough job exploring likely cultural and spiritual influences on a devout and influential 18th Century Quaker American.
Michael Greening
Yes gentle slow and thought provoking, just as a fine bio should be. A book to be savored.
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