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Billy Graham: His Life and Influence [Kindle Edition]

David Aikman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing

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Book 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.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Aikman is former Senior Correspondent for TIME magazine. He has written numerous TIME cover stories, including three "Man of the Year" profiles.  Aikman has also written for the Weekly Standard and Christianity Today.  He is the author of Great Souls, When the Almond Tree Blossoms, Jesus in Beijing, and the bestseller A Man of Faith: The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush


Product Details

  • File Size: 547 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1595551042
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 9, 2007)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007FZST9M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,764 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insightful look at Billy Graham, the person... December 20, 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...

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.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Pastor December 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Balanced and Educational, Though not Inspiring May 31, 2010
In Billy Graham: His Life and Influence, David Aikman gives a detailed account of the life of the world's most well-known, and perhaps influential, evangelist. We might expect a biographer to be biased in favor of his subject, but not so here. Though Aikman greatly admires Graham, his book is surprisingly balanced.

In chapter one, Aikman tells us that Graham's "manifest weakness" was that he "went out of his way to avoid offending people," and he uses much of the remainder of the book to convince us of that. To his credit, Graham is a supporter of civil rights, and he was a friend of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But according to Aikman, his early stand on segregation depended upon which part of the country he was in. While his evangelistic crusades were integrated in the North, crusades in the South were conspicuously segregated. "We follow existing social customs in whatever part of the country in which we minister," Graham stated. When asked why he refused to speak out on the issue of segregation, he said that, "Communists were behind most of the civil rights agitation in the United States."

Despite his distaste for the communists while on American soil, Graham, according to Aikman, outdid himself in courting them on their own turf. While on a tour of the Soviet Union, Graham was asked to respond to the imprisonment of 150 Baptist preachers. "We detain people in the United States if we catch them doing something wrong," he said to the disappointment of the Christians. During a trip to communist Romania, he thanked the government for being one "which gives full and genuine freedom to all religious denominations." Graham apparently had not read Haralan Popov's Tortured for His Faith.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best biographies I have read June 22, 2010
David Aikman hit a homerun with his biography on the life of Billy Graham. I have read many biographies over the years and this is one of them most balanced and fair treatments of a man's life I have read. Aikman does an excellent job of going beyond a mere history of Graham's life and gives the reader an understanding of the factors that shaped Billy Graham's life. The author is able to pinpoint the strengths and the weaknesses of Graham and in some ways show us how his greatest strengths were also his greatest weaknesses.

The reader is also able to watch the development of Graham's thinking and theology over the years. Each chapter takes one along the journey of the evangelist's experiences and shows powerful influence he has been on American religion, culture and politics.

As a bonus the reader also gets to see into a little of the life of Billy's wife, Ruth. The last chapter of the book is an honest appraisal of Billy Graham's family, both good and bad are candidly looked at and how Billy's career as an evangelist affected his family is discussed.

I found this book not only informative but inspirational. I was at times in awe of Graham and at other times disappointed in him. I suppose that is the true story of every life. If you are looking for a book to simply give you more information about Billy Graham's life this will fit the bill, but it will go way beyond that and stir your imagination about the possibilities of a life of single-minded devotion to the purposes of God.

Buy it, read it, you won't be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy comes alive
I really enjoyed this book. Aikman tells us about Billy without sentiment and with an even hand. It's clear that he admires Billy (who doesn't?), but he's no hero worshipper. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Richard Mcknight
2.0 out of 5 stars Unintentionally revealing
This book is an attempt at hagiography, but is unintentionally revealing by omission. A great deal of the book is devoted to accounts of Graham's huge rallies, in which he calls... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stuart Skalka
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book about one of the finest
Another great book about one of the finest. Christian men I ever had the privilege of meeting. He lived his faith
Published 4 months ago by Peggie Woodward
4.0 out of 5 stars very surprising and refreshing on how great he was both as a preacher...
very surprising and refreshing on how great he was both as a preacher and as a world diplomat for this country
Published 5 months ago by garland frye
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Book(s) for my Mother who reads constantly nothing negative to say
Published 5 months ago by MM
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
A fascinating account if a fascinating man. I feel the author emphasized Graham's "desire to be liked" a little too strongly- I think the real factor was his putting... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Matthew Gindin
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
This was very well written. My 10-year old was able to read this and that is why I bought it as he had a school project on Billy Graham.
Published 13 months ago by Ivette P.
4.0 out of 5 stars Billy Graham...biography of Godly Character
Everyone has heard of Billy Graham, and many have actually heard him speak. In this book, I was able to dive into the life and experiences of the man who has been called... Read more
Published on April 16, 2011 by Jeremy H. Echols
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overall glimpse of Graham's influence
Growing up in a fundamental, Baptist family, I heard comparatively little about Billy Graham and the little I did hear wasn't positive. Read more
Published on February 8, 2011 by Eskypades
2.0 out of 5 stars A Man That Has Changed the World
Billy Graham is a name everyone knows, and a man many have written about. David Aikman adds his book Billy Graham His Life and Influence to the list. Read more
Published on September 22, 2010 by Christina
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More About the Author

Dr. David Aikman is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, a best-selling author, and a foreign affairs commentator based in the Washington, D.C. area. His wide-ranging professional achievements include a 23-year career at Time magazine, serving for several years as bureau chief in Eastern Europe, Beijing, and Jerusalem. His reporting has spanned the globe and he has covered all the major historical events of the time.

Dr. Aikman was educated at Oxford University and holds a PhD from the University of Washington in Russian and Chinese history. He is the author of many books, including Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the World Balance of Power; Billy Graham: His Life and Influence; Qi (Awaken the Dragon); and A Man of Faith: The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush. He is professor of history and writer in residence at Patrick Henry College. He is married and lives near Lincoln, Virginia

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