Jason Koivu's Reviews > Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery

Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas
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Feb 23, 15

bookshelves: biography, non-fiction
Read from February 18 to 21, 2015

Amazing Grace is a biography written with WAAAY more cheek than I expected!

The slight and frail English gentleman William Wilberforce...

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...was the heroic and eloquent man at the head of the push to abolish the slave trade.

Wilberforce is a name not well known in America as perhaps it may be in England. Right or wrong, we Americans think "Lincoln" when we think of the end of slavery. Of course, slavery continues to this day. Eric Metaxas' Amazing Grace does an admirable job in reminding us who deserves the credit in passing the laws that put an end to the legalized trade in human lives.

It is a noble subject, but Metaxas actually uses sarcasm and like humor nearly through out and, while funny at times, it's off-putting in a biography. Perhaps he felt the subject matter needed levity. Perhaps he looked to capture Wilberforce's own gay sense of humor. Whatever the reason, it didn't always set well with this reader.

From the title it should be readily apparent that religion (in this case Methodism) will be given a feature role. While not a puritanical prude from start to finish, Wilberforce was heavily influenced by his faith and let it guide him in many of his life's choices. From the book's tone, I would guess Metaxas is, if not Methodist, at least a like-minded Christian. He writes with an obvious bias. It's almost completely transparent at times with very little reading between the lines necessary. That swamps integrity in my book. However, when it comes to non-fiction, for some reason biographers are often allowed a long leash when it comes to balanced, fair and honest journalism.

At heart, I would call the above faults, but I managed to overlook them and if you too can stomach an agenda not your own, then Amazing Grace will ring in your heart the chimes of glorious freedom! Or at least it will be a worthy read on a worthy man. Either way, it's worth your while.

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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Great review, I liked the points you made about the humor and the religion.


message 2: by Dᴀɴ 2.☢ (new)

Dᴀɴ 2.☢ ^ What she said :) Nice one Jason.


Jason Koivu Thanks and thanks!


message 4: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Rice Look at Metaxas's GR profile. Says he writes for Veggie Tales AND Chuck Colson. Says a lot about his leanings there.

Still might check this out. Thanks.


Jason Koivu Joseph wrote: "Look at Metaxas's GR profile. Says he writes for Veggie Tales AND Chuck Colson. Says a lot about his leanings there.

Still might check this out. Thanks."


Yeah, you're going to have to swallow a load of God, but I think it's worth it if you're truly interested, and who shouldn't/wouldn't be?


message 6: by Mummy (new)

Mummy People writing about Wilberforce do not often include much on his great friend, ally and inspiration - William Douglass who was in England with him for two years. Does this book include much about him?


Jason Koivu Petra X smokin' hot wrote: "People writing about Wilberforce do not often include much on his great friend, ally and inspiration - William Douglass who was in England with him for two years. Does this book include much about ..."

That's strange considering Douglass was born in 1804, right around the time England was finally passing resolutions against the slave trade. But perhaps they were friends and allies late in Wilberforce's life? He died in '33 when Douglass would've been about 29. What book(s) did you read that said they were best buds?


misti thankz


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