A Passionate Pilgrim
A Biography of Bishop James A. Pike
By David M. Robertson
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375726163, 304pp.)
Publication Date: August 8, 2006
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James A. Pike, the fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California, was a man of many faces. To some he was an iconoclast, a man decades ahead of his time who modernized the Church and rendered it more progressive and open to inquiry. To others he was a heretic, who polarized and desecrated the Church. Always controversial and charismatic, he took America by storm in the 1960s with his best-selling books, and his weekly television talk show, Dean Pike, which won him a cover story in Time. A Passionate Pilgrim is an illuminating biography of Pike, and an examination of the tragedies, triumphs, and difficulties that shaped his spectacular rise to fame and his mysterious death in the Israeli desert.
David Robertson is the author of two prior biographies, of the slave rebel, Denmark Vesey, and of former U.S. Secretary of State, James F. Byrnes, and is the author of a historical novel about John Wilkes Booth. His poetry has appeared in the Sewanee Review and other journals, and he had provided political and literary commentary to ABC News and the Washington Post. He currently is researching the memories of the battle of the Alamo in 1836 and also the lives of Native Americans on the southern frontier in the early nineteenth century. He was educated in Alabama, and lives in Ohio.
“Thoroughly engagingÉ. The Pike who emerges from these pages is a true voice without restraint. A fascinating story told by a first-rate historian.”
“This spirited biography never lets goÉ[Robertson] keeps his view of the peripatetic Pike clear-eyed and even-handed.”–Providence Journal
“At once sympathetic and probing, provides a fascinating and timely backdrop to many of the struggles faced by mainline Protestant churches today.” –Publishers Weekly
“Meticulously researched and crisply writtenÉAn accurate, fair portrait of [a] complicated spiritual iconoclast and theological pioneer.” –Tucson Citizen