We all love heroes, brave ones, achievers we can admire, try to emulate, and set forth as examples. To a greater or lesser degree, the lives of many of these men and women are known to us yet there is always something to learn as we revisit their accomplishments and the challenges they faced.
Noted British historian Paul M. Johnson is a prolific author having written some 40 books ranging from Modern Times to The Quest for God. He has lectured throughout the world and often contributes to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal among numerous other magazines and periodicals. His choice of subjects for Heroes is eclectic and, to some, may be surprising. Lord Nelson is almost to be expected but Marilyn Monroe? She is noted along with another blonde bombshell in Chapter 12, Heroes Behind the Greasepaint.
You see, Johnson's heroes, whether they be Samson, Caesar or Margaret Thatcher, are very human thus flawed. They are not presented to us on pedestals, not as stone figures but as flesh and blood beings, subject to all the temptations and constraints that mortality entails.
The author begins his stories of heroes with God's Heroes - Deborah, Judith, Samson, and David, noting that "No people were more in need of heroes than the Hebrews." Next we meet The Earthshakers - Alexander the Great and Caesar, and from there his subjects are presented in chronological order, closing with the present day. Thus, we are privy not only to entertaining and enlightening visits with those who made a difference but to mini history lessons as well.
Radio host, author, and managing editor of London's Sunday Times, James Adams, has narrated a number of books for Blackstone Audio. He's the perfect voice for the work of British historian Johnson as the slightest bit of a British accent can be detected in Adams's clear, crisp diction. Enjoyable listening!
- Gail Cooke