- Paperback: 220 pages
- Publisher: Paraclete Press; Anniversary edition (February 28, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612614639
- ISBN-13: 978-1612614632
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Road to Assisi: The Essential Biography of St. Francis - 120th Anniversary Edition Anniversary Edition
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first modern biography of Francis of Assisi. It was a worldwide bestseller, and in 2003 when this new edition was first published, it again sold more than 60,000 copies and was a selection of History Book Club.
This new 120th anniversary edition includes a dozen additional annotations and a new preface by the editor, putting Sabatier’s influential work into
its historical context, showing why it is still the most essential life of the saint.
About the Author
Paul Sabatier (1858-1928) was educated in Paris and served as a pastor in Strasbourg. In mid-life, he dedicated himself to research and writing about Francis. His pioneering work has influenced the work of generations of scholars and biographers since his time.
Jon M. Sweeney is the author of many books including The Pope Who Quit, which was recently optioned by HBO.
Top customer reviews
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What I liked. First, it is extremely well written--eloquent even. Second, I learned a lot about the history of the period and the customs of the times. I did not realize how important to glimpsing Francis that would be. The author did. Third, the author appears neither for nor against the Catholic Church. I wanted sobriety in the author, and he delivered. I think a reviewer or two did not like the annotations: I appreciated them.
Why not a five star review then? That is hard to say: it just lacked something that I can't put words to. But I do recommend it, and in fact bought it for my parents to enjoy. I think you may enjoy it, too.
In this world of "spiritual materialism," Francis provides a respite, am example and an inspiration. This book will give you a nicely done window into that world. And the world of a man who placed more emphasis in loving Jesus with all his heart and living as Jesus did, rather than talking about it from a place of duplicity an inauthenticity. Therein was his power and the force he unleashed.
I now have more insight into the new Pope, I think. He seems to be sending a clear message regarding his vision for the Catholic Church. One I appreciate.
It's a good translation and finely edited by John Sweeney, who has added sidebar annotations that contribute to understanding the people and places in Francis's time.
So let me first say this about Sabatier's text as we have it here: it comes across as a fair outline of Francis' life. Sabatier tries his best to stay away from legend and stick to what can be verified about Francis though he can't resist relating some of the more famous stories which is not necessarily a bad thing. And he is frank when he relates something that is like embellished or untrue. If his language and understanding of events seems a little dated, the reader can forgive him for that since there is a lot of valuable information here.
Sweeny's work, however, is more suspect. I wish I had read an un-cut version of Sabatier's work before this so I could better judge the effects of Sweeny's "reworking." On the other hand, I feel much more confident in saying that I found the annotations to be a waste of space. Only very rarely did I find an annotation that I felt added to the reading experience by filling in some detail that Sabatier did not cover in his text. For the most part, the annotations were, at best, uninteresting and, at worst, pointless. And why annotate Sabatier with quotations from Sabatier? It's bad enough the annotations were mainly quotations from other authors, but why quote Sabatier in Sabatier? If it is important enough to annotate, it is important enough to leave in the text instead of editing it out.
In the final analysis, this book is a worthwhile read; particularly if you, like me, enjoy reading old scholarly works to find how our understanding and tastes have changes through the centuries. However, I would suggest tracking down a copy of the original text first. The changes and annotations made here seem to me less than worthwhile.