From Library Journal
Bebbington (history, Univ. of Stirling, Scotland) rehearses the main events in Gladstone's political career, with occasional forays into his private life and frequent, but often unsatisfying, references to his religious convictions. Instead of entering the ministry, Gladstone (1809-98) went into politics and became prime minister four times during the reign of Queen Victoria. This title, part of Eerdmans's "Library of Religious Biography" series, does not pretend to be a full-dress biography. There are no footnotes or endnotes, and the book proceeds at a breakneck pace in order to cover more than 60 eventful years of public service in fewer than 300 pages. Such constraints result in a desultory analysis of Gladstone's faith and theology. While useful as a concise narrative of his public life, the book does not go very far in advancing our understanding of Christianity as the generative center of his thought and actions.- Steve Gowler, Wofford Coll. Lib., Spartanburg, S.C.
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