God Had a Churchill Too: the Impact of C.S. Lewis on Britain First then the World
Many people content themselves to read just one biography of a great man or woman. Yet it is in devouring more than one that one comes to realize that a biographer has all kinds of choices to make when writing his or her perspective on the life and influence of any famous person. There are a million details, some everyone agrees is important, and, even in those, the writer must decide on what to emphasize, what to summarize and how to weave the picture together. Often the starting point varies and, believe it or not, the ending point does as well as great people’s legacies outlive the year etched on the right hand of their tombstone.
I believe Paul McCusker does a great job with his portrait of C.S. Lewis. Something he chooses to do is to give background information on the BBC, what life was like in Britain during the Second World War as well as the expected background story to Lewis’ life that included his upbringing, early trauma, his service in the World War I and the relationships that he had both good and bad. These additional items take up space so a writer needs to feel passionately about the need to bring them out, especially within a book that is just shy of 200 pages.
McCusker covers many facets of Lewis’ life and career well. I don’t think you would come away from reading it like you were robbed for the sake of space or bored to tears with too much detail. As described by the author, Lewis was “one of the foremost writers and Christian apologists of the twentieth century.” Apparently not full of himself, “Jack” once stated that he expected to be the kind of author that people might read and soon forget what they read. He doubted that his royalties would last past a few years. C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity demonstrates how wrong he was on that count.
When Britain needed a voice of reassurance and calm; one that would help them to see God in the fog of war, sacrifice and misery, they got one in C.S. Lewis. World War II and Britain’s part in it became the platform from which Lewis made his mark on Britain and eventually the world. C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity: The Crisis That Created a Classic tells the story of how Lewis got there, the opportunities and obstacles he faced and what happened after in a clear and engaging way. If you’re going to read about C.S. Lewis, this is a good place to start or to continue your journey.
I received this complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review from Tyndale House Publishers