Billy Graham: American Pilgrim, edited by Andrew Finstuen, Anne Blue Wills, and Grant Wacker
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This collection of articles constitutes a most useful and welcome addition to the burgeoning scholarship on Billy Graham. Much has been written about Graham, but this book shows again that much has also remained unexplored and is still to learn. Divided into three sections, the book gives near-equal attention to its protagonist’s religious, political, and cultural impact, and its distinguished cast of contributors does not fail to provide new insights and lines of promising inquiry on each of these dimensions.
Grant Wacker’s introduction succinctly summarizes the core conclusions that cohere most of the fifteen chapters. He notes, on the one hand, that Graham epitomised American ‘heartland’ values and self-understandings, and on the other hand, that his public message evolved over the years from his original clearly fundamentalist positions to a much more left-of-center stance. This biographical journey both reflected and precipitated broader changes in the evangelical community in the...