Altitude on a flight changes our perspective. If we fly high, we travel far more quickly, but the detail of the landscape below is lost to our eyes. We see greater detail of the ground if our altitude is low, but we lose the distance travelled.

Reading biographies is like travelling at different altitudes. Some can feel like we are skimming the ground's surface. They can go into every small detail where you feel trapped in the 17th century. Other biographies go to the other extreme and give an overview where the author covers great distance but at the loss of information about the individual. Sandy Finlayson's book on Thomas Chalmers, Chief Scottish Man, finds a sweet spot of detail and distance. As you read this book, you get a sense of what formed Thomas Chalmers without being stuck in one period of his life for too long. So if you are interested in a neat, compact, but rich, biography with the right attitude to keep you engaged, the Chief Scottish Man is it.

This book is featured as our 'Book of the Month' for April 2021.

Chris Davidson, Merkinch Free Church