A History of Humility

David J. Bobb has given us a gem in his book “Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue.” The author dug deep to find hidden treasures of historical depth and detail, and readers who take the time to read and ponder will be rewarded with a rich understanding of an oft ignored virtue.

This is a scholarly work that introduces us to such great names as Jesus, Socrates, Augustine, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washington, Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Each Chapter is a separate adventure. In “Jesus and Socrates” Bobb draws a contrast between the Greeks’ disdain and the Judeo Christian deep reverence of humility. The chapter on George Washington unveils and driven, naturally proud young man who through the discipline of humility lived a self controlled life. In James Madison we see the quiet achiever who modeled humility in action as he served a greater cause in a team context, not bringing attention to himself. The chapter on Abigail Adams presents to us a humble dynamo whose inspiration and motivation and undying loyalty to her (not so humble) husband John Adams provides an example to all would be world changers–demonstrating through her life greatness is achieved by serving others and committing yourself to great causes. Abraham Lincoln emerges as an untiring “little engine who knew no rest,” a man who never gave up, always championed hope and believed God was in control—and as a result modeled humility throughout his life. And the book finishes with a marvelous depiction of Frederick Douglass, the humble slave-boy who became grew up to challenge and inspire a nation through his bold yet humble example.

I recommend this book for all lovers of history and seekers of humility.




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