HESE ARE MY HEROES by Robert Leckie


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Subtitled A Study of the Saints, this is a series of eleven essays in which Robert Leckie takes the position that the Christian saints are a very much misunderstood group. He feels that the saints have been generally misrepresented by friend and fee alike and that they usually emerge, in the popular mind, as either far-out fanatics or impossibly glorified ""mascots."" The saints surely were, at the very least, very interesting people and Leckie does a good job, in brief sketches, of making their genuine humanity very immediate. This is true whether he is discussing so awesome a character as St. Augustine, the humble St. Bernadette, fun-loving St. Philip Neri, or that tower of energy and will, St. Teresa of Avila. Leckie's study, however, is a simplified one and does not even verge on the more complicating factors of some of his subjects' lives, such as the possibility of psychosis. Unfortunately, his limited good effects are marred by an almost all-inclusive criticism of his own times. There is very little in the twentieth century (except for the Peace Corps) that Robert Leckie does not find damaging to the soul, whether it be the TA or paved sidewalks. If only in the interest of the balance he finds so characteristic of the saints he might have conceded a point to, say the mass production of shoes, which enables the faithful to get to Church without too much discomfort.

Publisher: Random House