Mark Galli’s Francis of Assisi and His World is part of the IVP Histories series. I was thoroughly impressed (not to mention frequently moved) by Galli’s handling of Francis’ story. As St. Francis is one of the most popular, beloved, and studied figures in Christian history, the broad contours of his life are fairly well-known to many. That must make writing a Francis biography a daunting task. Mark Galli, however, manages to tell the story in a way that is fresh, engaging, and thought-provoking.
This book (and all the books in this series) is a very attractive little volume with high-gloss pages and full-color artwork placed throughout. This added a great deal to the story, as did the margin quotations and the information boxes that offered closer looks at various issues surrounding Francis’ life.
In short, if I were to recommend a biography of Francis to anybody wanting to understand this great Saint, this (along with Omer Englebert’s classic treatment) would be it. To top it all off, this beautiful little book, like all the volumes in the IVP Histories series, can be had for around $8. I couldn’t help but think that this book would be great for a church book club or even a Sunday School class wanting to understand the great heroes of Christian history.
If you’ve never met St. Francis, you need to. Mark Galli does a good job at making the introduction.