John Larsson was the general (international leader) of The Salvation Army from 2002-2006. As such, he was privy to historical records and other information about a fascinating and critical period in Salvation Army history: the constitutional crisis of 1929, in which the ailing General Bramwell Booth (second general and son of the Army's founders) resisted efforts by nearly all the movement's highest leaders to bring about a change in leadership and in how the general's successors would be chosen.

In his book, 1929: A Crisis That Shaped The Salvation Army's Future, General Larsson, now retired, weaves a fascinating and insightful account of the background and buildup to the crisis, as well as the crisis itself and the aftermath. Though I admit to getting bogged down a bit in the early explanation of the various deed polls (constitutional documents) that defined the struggle between the Booth family and others, I otherwise found the book thoroughly riveting and enlightening. The appearance in the book of many Salvation Army notables (in addition to the Booths) such as Edward Higgins, Gunpei Yamamuro, Samuel Logan Brengle, and others heightened the historical richness of the book.

Salvationists will, of course, be interested in the significant events that shaped the Army's future and still influence it today. And they, along with non-Salvationists, can enjoy a story that reads like fiction as well as an artful depiction of how godly leaders in sharp disagreement handled and weathered a crisis (some better than others, of course).

As someone who was raised in The Salvation Army, studied Army history, served in its ranks, and read scores of books on the movement's history, I couldn't more highly recommend 1929.

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