Gibbs and Duffy, editors at Time, detail a half-century of Evangelist Billy Graham's spiritual direction of eleven American presidents. From Harry Truman to George W. Bush, Graham was both spiritual friend and personal friend to all of them (excepting Truman). With insights culled from historical records and interviews with Graham himself, "The Preacher and the Presidents" treads new ground in describing the nature of Graham's ministry to each of these "most important men in the world." What is most striking in the entire account is the integrity of Billy Graham. In an era of expose writing and tele-evangelistic scandals, to span fifty years of public ministry and remain above the fray by focusing on influencing leaders for Christ is quite unique. "The Preacher and the Presidents" is both a good read and good history.
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Soul Physicians, and Spiritual Friends.
Given the enormous financial and investigative resources available to Time magazine reporters Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, it shouldn't be too much to expect historical accuracy in this biography. Then again, Time has been an uncritical cheerleader for Graham's ministry since the day in 1950 when publisher Henry Luce visited the young minister, then a houseguest at South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond's mansion, and decided to join William Randolph Hearst's efforts to "puff Graham." Time has … more
I bought this book for my dad and he raved about it so much, I borrowed it back. Billy Graham is an icon, a man of deep faith whose counsel has been sought by Presidents and world leaders. Although a Baptist, Graham has the unique ability to transcend that barrier when dealing with people of differing religions. He is a man who appeals to all, no matter their faith, ecoclass, or race. The book provides an intriguing peek into one man's impact on presidencies through the years, his insight into his … more
My passion is to equip people to change lives with Christ's changeless truth through Christ-centered, comprehensive, compassionate, culturally-informed biblical counseling and spiritual formation. … more
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*Starred Review* Despite Kennedy-era bigots' fears, the only clergyman to visit the White House regularly has been a minister of the major Protestant denomination historically most committed to separation of church and state, the Baptists. Veteran Time staffers Gibbs and Duffy's sympathetic history of evangelist Billy Graham's relations with every U.S. president since Truman testifies that, although sorely tempted by intense interest in politics and political leadership, Graham crossed the line of that separation only in his friendship with Richard Nixon. When he realized Nixon's duplicity and his own susceptibility to political seduction, Graham determined to be strictly a spiritual counselor to political leaders. In that capacity, he earlier served Eisenhower and Johnson, and later, Reagan, both Bushes, and both Clintons, all of whom acknowledged deep appreciation (that he likewise counseled Nixon after the latter's downfall speaks volumes about Graham's character). Kennedy wasn't much interested, Ford infrequently consulted him, and Carter was sufficiently spiritually grounded not to resort to Graham's counsel. But called upon or not, Graham was always available to the president and always prayed for him. Gibbs and Duffy have done posterity immense (and very readable) service by chronicling Graham's devotion. Olson, Ray