Billy Graham and “One Soul at a Time”| Brent Aucoin’s Summer Reading Recommendation

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This summer, we want to help you craft the perfect Summer Reading List. We asked Southeastern Seminary professors what books they would recommend, and we’ll share their recommendations in coming weeks.

Today, Brent Aucoin shares his summer reading recommendation.

One Soul at a Time: The Story of Billy Graham
By Grant Wacker (Eerdmans, 2019)

Aucoin: I am currently reading One Soul at a Time: The Story of Billy Graham by Grant Wacker (Duke University) and published in 2019 by Eerdmans. I learned a great deal about Billy Graham from Wacker’s America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation (Harvard University Press, 2014), but was a bit disappointed that the book was arranged thematically rather than chronologically. Therefore, I was thrilled when he published One Soul at a Time because it is a traditional biography.

As was evident in America’s Pastor, Wacker is generally sympathetic to Graham and evangelicals in general. He clearly admires Graham, but also refuses to ignore Graham’s blind spots and missteps. What distinguishes him the most from other biographers of Graham, in my opinion, is not only his balanced approach to his subject but the thorough, in-depth research that evidentially undergirds this work. Wacker is thoroughly familiar with the literature on just about every aspect of Graham’s life and as he encounters a disputed matter in the course of telling Graham’s story he does an admirable job of pausing to alert the reader to what others have said on the matter and how their views accord with the available evidence.

In short, this biography of Graham is written by a model professional historian who is not only a master practitioner of the discipline of history, but also a master storyteller.

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Brent Aucoin

Dr. Aucoin is a Professor of History at Southeastern Seminary. He also serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the College at Southeastern.

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