William Wilberforce: Book summary and reviews of William Wilberforce by William Hague

William Wilberforce

The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner

by William Hague

William Wilberforce by William Hague X
William Wilberforce by William Hague
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2008
    608 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

Wilberforce, born to a prosperous family, chose a life of public service and adherence to Evangelical values over the comfortable merchant existence that was laid out for him. Of a conservative bent, Wilberforce was actively hostile to radicals and revolutionaries, but championed one of the great liberal causes of all time—the abolition of slavery—and was an invaluable contributor to its ultimate success.

When Parliament finally outlawed the slave trade in 1807, Wilberforce did not rest on his laurels but took part in the campaign for the abolition of slavery itself. He never held or desired a cabinet post, but became an expert in any subject he addressed as a member of Parliament. And although his convictions were informed by deep religious fervor, he never hesitated to change his mind upon reflection. Hague captures all of these nuances and complexities in this clear-eyed, humane, and moving biography.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Richly satisfying biography....hearing today's leaders proclaim deep religious convictions, especially around election time, readers may feel that they don't make Christians like they used to." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Hague provides plenty of historical context about Britain's involvement in the slave trade and British domestic affairs, making this rewarding reading for those interested in the history of Britain as well as the history of the battle for equality and justice." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

William Hague

William Hague has served in various capacities in the British government since 1989, including Leader of the Conservative Party. He is the shadow foreign secretary and senior member of the Shadow Cabinet, and the author of William Pitt the Younger. He lives in Yorkshire, England.

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