Friday, December 13, 2013


Title:  Humility:  An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue
Author:  David J. Bobb
Pages:  228 (including index)
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Nelson Books
Humility is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people:  the quality or state of being humble.  What do you think of or who might you think of when you hear the word humility?  Is it a famous person, a celebrity, a politician or is it someone at your church, office or neighborhood?  David Bobb has highlighted five famous, historical figures to demonstrate the characteristic of humility in their lives.
Part I of this book uses Benjamin Franklin, Jesus and Socrates as humility is discussed and its opposite, pride.  We see these traits portrayed in Part II as short biographies are presented of George Washington, James Madison, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  Some show our human inclination to be prideful and how humility was gained through their life experiences.  Some had humility as part of their lives from very early on.  Part III brings readers to the modern “Age of Arrogance” where Bobb points out our lack of humility today regardless of political affiliation, people groups or nations.  “Franklin’s dilemma—America’s dilemma at our founding—was how to be humble and achieve greatness.  Our challenge today is how to rediscover humility.”
I enjoyed taking a look at these great historical people.  If you don’t like history, then this probably isn’t the book for you.  This book serves as a wake-up call to our thinking today as a nation and as individual people.  We all need to infuse more humility into our lives.  It must be an intentional effort because most are just about looking out for themselves.  This book shows what can happen when just one person shows humility and how it can benefit to everyone.  Benjamin Franklin wrote as he strived to obtain humility that, “It (humility) would elude anyone, he concluded, for just as soon as someone thinks himself perfectly humble, he is likely to succumb to the temptation of pride.”  How true!  All-in-all, I found the book interesting.  I did like the Christian worldview and the style of writing that made me slow down to read so I could take in what was presented and not just skim.  For those wanting more in-depth information, readers can take advantage of the recommended readings provided.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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