Nathan Bedford Forrest's Redemption
by Shane E. Kastler
Published by Pelican Publishing
This won't be a long review, but then again this wasn't a long book. As the title suggests this book focuses on Forrest's redemption, or rather his journey to Christ, which should be no surprise as the author is a preacher. The book gives a biography of Forrest from his childhood, through his early to the war, before giving a big focus in the last chapters on his journey to Christ. Throughout its sprinkled with Biblical comparisons and quotes, but also I feel misses the mark in some of these comparisons, (the author describes Bedford's marriage to his loving wife as a disaster from a Biblical standpoint, something I feel a little too strict and not accounting for human nature).
I can not call this book a great biography. If someone knows absolutely nothing about Forrest you will learn a lot, but if you already read a lot of him, you will come away disappointed. But this author doesn't seem to pretend his book is the big bio of the General, he seeks to show Christians that even what some would call the worst of humanity can find redemption through Christ, and in that mission I feel he hit the ball out of the park. For that reason I think this book should be highly recommended reading amongst Church congregations on the subject.
For the CW history student, I'd say read this book only if you've not read any Forrest biography.
Al in all I'd say its a different, if needed take on Forrest, even if I feel the author's characterizations of Forrest before he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior is a bit off. But the book's assertions of Forrest at the end of his time on Earth should be kept in mind with his third, (and God willing final) funeral coming up.