The founder of the Red Cross should provide substance for a better biography than this, which is full but disappointingly...

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JEAN HENRI DUNANT

The founder of the Red Cross should provide substance for a better biography than this, which is full but disappointingly colorless. The balance of space given to Dunant's childhood seems too weighty. The anecdotes selected to convey an orthodox idealism seems too pointed. Before Jean Henri is grown, the reader's mind is dulled by the young virtues and visions of a great calling. The stirring events to follow have lost their impact. The facts are there, but so intense is the biographer's sympathy with Dunant's difficulties, that the reader becomes indifferent. Dunant was a man of deep conviction and persuasive power; he made a fortune in Algeria, was spurred by the battle of Solferino into taking positive action on establishing the Red Cross; he fought the men he chose to work out the details for him and died, after a period of bankruptcy and virtual anonymity. A weak account of a man's life is not compensated enough by the remarkable elements that comprised it.

Pub Date: March 12, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Messner

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1956