Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: The Gentle Revolutionaries by Don Lord


The Gentle Revolutionaries by Don Lord tells the true story of Dan and Emelie Bradley and their missionary tenure in Siam/Thailand during the early to mid 1800's.  The Siamese/Thai nobles were very open to Westerners and welcomed this couple into their homes as they strove to learn from them.  The Bradleys were able to use this familiarity to help bring this small country into their modern times.

I was very excited to get a copy of this book to review because I like learning about early missionaries.  And I did enjoy reading about New England in the early 1800's and Siam/Thailand in the early to mid 1800's.  However, this book was a disappointment.  A full third of this book was spent with Emelie's childhood, and the author couldn't say enough wonderful things about "Yankee ingenuity" while never missing an opportunity to impugn Calvinists and the Puritans.  When the couple finally married and moved to Thailand (which Westerners mistakenly called Siam), the author continued his almost idol worship of Emilie.  Jesus was never discussed in this book except how His teachings are similar to Buddha's, and their teachings were never contrasted.  I'm sure that the Bradleys were devout Christians and relied on the Lord for the strength to do their work, but you don't get that impression from this book.

I know it's a picky thing, but the author overused the word "warm," and I'm not talking about temperature.  It seemed it was used on every page:  warm and intelligent conversations, warm and friendly meetings, warm welcomes.  Honestly, it started to turn my stomach.

And while I'm doing "picky," this e-book never kept my place.  Every time I turned my kindle off, it would revert back to the home page when I would turn it back on.  It was aggravating.  Every other book I've read on my kindle would default to the last page read, but not this one.

Anyway, I want to thank BookLook Bloggers for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.

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