My new biography David Livingstone: Missionary, Explorer, Abolitionist is now available to order in America, Britain and other countries! Last week a longtime friend of mine posted on Facebook a picture of himself holding a copy of the book, which he had just received as a birthday gift, so I know it’s available.
For you non-techies (like me) just search online for “david livingstone vance christie” and you’ll soon spot various suppliers where the book can be ordered. Some of those include the book’s publisher Christian Focus Publications, various other Christian book suppliers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. Christian Focus is currently offering the book at a generous 30% discount off retail price!
The book is available in paper and electronic formats. It should soon be available as an audiobook as well. I’ll plan to share more about that latter option in a future blog.
The biography I’ve written on Livingstone is a lengthy comprehensive account of his significant, fascinating life and ministry. At the same time, if I may say so myself, I believe the book is very readable and engaging.
I fully realize that people generally-speaking are not reading as many books or as lengthy of books as used to be the case. So in this Perspective I’d like to share a few thoughts about why I’ve written such a long biography on Livingstone, as well as a couple suggestions on how people can successfully accomplish the reading of the book in order to gain its intended profit and pleasure. Hopefully this will provide people with the encouragement they need to go ahead and tackle the reading of the biography for their own enjoyment and benefit.
I did not set out to write such a lengthy work on Livingstone. I’ve had the privilege of writing several other books in the field of historical Christian biography, including three that related quite comprehensively the life and ministries of David Brainerd, Adoniram Judson and Andrew Murray. Initially I thought the Livingstone book would end up being around the same length as those three earlier biographies. Instead it ended up being well over three times longer than the longest works I had previously written.
That was primarily the case because of how incredibly expansive Livingstone’s life truly was, in terms of its many notable aspects, endeavors, events and accomplishments. Even with my biography’s considerable length, it certainly does not include every incident and feature of Livingstone’s life. But I have sought to include every occurrence and facet of his life that is significant and important. I also included Livingstone’s numerous noteworthy perspectives on a variety of important topics, as well as other people’s insightful perspectives on him.
The other main reason this biography turned out to be so long is because it provides a necessary corrective to not a few inaccurate depictions and unfair criticisms of Livingstone that have been propagated through biographies and other books about him. Livingstone was certainly not a perfect individual, and his actual shortcomings are addressed in the work I’ve written. But a number of false or unjust statements about him needed correcting. Sometimes I’ve done that directly by explicitly pointing out various inaccuracies or falsehoods about him. But more often I’ve simply provided a thorough, accurate account of the various events and controversies of his life, along with corroborating historical documentation in the book’s footnotes, which provides readers with a reliable and verifiable record of Livingstone’s character and history. To set the record straight in the ways just mentioned increased the book’s length, but it was necessary to do so in a volume that seeks to present a comprehensive, fair and truthful account of Livingstone.
With regard to individuals carrying out the actual reading of this book, there’s more than one way to go about it. If a person were to read one chapter a day and five chapters a week, he or she would march right through the entire book in just three months’ time. Or if that schedule is a bit too aggressive, an individual could simply read a few or several pages per day for a longer period of months and would eventually accomplish the same objective.
As people progress in reading Livingstone’s life story, I predict they will find themselves being drawn in by the fascinating events, numerous adventures, tremendous exertions and sacrifices, remarkable accomplishments, worthwhile perspectives, commendable character traits, and complex controversies which are part of a reliable chronicle of Livingstone and his life. All that helps propel a person along through the reading of the book.
If you’re able to actually read the Livingstone biography, I think you’ll gain the greatest understanding and profit from it, including having the extensive record of verifying resource documentation that is not included in the forthcoming audiobook version. But I hear enough about people’s book-reading and book-listening habits to know that some are simply not going to commit to reading such a long volume. For those individuals there is the attractive and still-beneficial option of listening to the audiobook.
Happy and blessed reading to you! May God be glorified.
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If you missed it, you might also appreciate my June 8, 2023, Perspective on “Why Read This David Livingstone Biography?” It provides a dozen good reasons (stated concisely) for doing so.
Copyright 2023 by Vance E. Christie