The Mark of a Giant (Hardcover)
7 People Who Changed the World
by Ted Stewart
Throughout the course of history, civilization has been blessed by strong-minded men and women who have impacted our world in extraordinary ways. Their imprint upon humanity is beyond dispute. And many would contend that they were no less than the result of Divine Providence—a gift of God to the human race. Who are these individuals? What is it about these few that make them different? Were they merely in the right place at the right time? Or were they somehow chosen? The Mark of a Giant examines the lives and contributions of seven men and women who changed the world: Abraham of Ur, Pericles, the Apostle Paul, Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa.
- Size: 6" x 9"
- Pages: 320
- Book on CD: Unabridged, 7 discs
- Run Time: Approx. 9 hours
About the AuthorTed Stewart was appointed as a United States District Court Judge in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to Governor Michael O. Leavitt, as executive director of the State Department of Natural Resources, as a member and chairman of the Public Service Commission, and as chief of staff to Congressman Jim Hansen. He has been a visiting professor at two state universities, teaching courses in law and public policy. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points that Saved the World.
Abraham of Ur
And I will make of thee a great nation,
and I will bless thee, and make thy name great.
—Jehovah to Abraham (Genesis 12:2)
Philosophers assert that each of us possesses a worldview—the lens through which we view the world and everything in it. It is a collection of biases and prejudices that dictate how we interpret the world. It is the source of all of our opinions, mores, and ethics.
Some philosophers further assert that there are just two worldviews: the spiritual worldview and the materialistic or rational worldview. The spiritual worldview is one that has “its emphasis on moral truth and right conduct and its motto of Thus said the Lord.” It is “rooted primarily in ancient Israel.”
The spiritual worldview has been possessed by billions of the earth’s inhabitants. It is perhaps worth inquiring as to the origin of that worldview. That inquiry might well lead to a man who lived four millennia ago. His name was Abraham.
Abraham of Ur
The Bible tells us that ten generations after the flood, in a land called Ur of the Chaldees, a man was born named Abram. As with many of the details of his life, there is dispute as to exactly where Ur of the Chaldees actually was. Most Christian experts claim that Ur was the capital of Sumer, an ancient civilization in the southern area of Mesopotamia, in modern-day Iraq. Muslim scholars claim that Ur was in Southern Turkey.
In the seventeenth century, a famous churchman by the name of James Ussher (Archbishop of Armagh in Northern Ireland, the Primate of All Ireland, and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin), a highly regarded scholar, attempted to calculate the dates of the earth’s creation as well as all of the Old Testament milestones. According to his calculations, Abram was born in 1996 B.C., roughly two thousand years after the earth was created.
An early legend tells us that Abram lived at the time of Nimrod, the mighty hunter and the first great King of the Earth. It was Nimrod who conjured up the idea of building a tower into heaven. One legend has it that Nimrod tried to have young Abram killed because of Abram’s rejection of the stairway to heaven project. But Abram was saved from death in a fiery furnace.
There appears to be little dispute that Abram’s was a time of great wickedness among the descendants of Noah. According to Ussher’s calculations, only 350 years had passed since the flood had destroyed all but a handful of the earth’s inhabitants. But in that brief time the descendants of Noah and his sons had degenerated into a wicked throng of idol worshippers:
Some of them through their error adored the heavens, and some of them worshipped the sun, and moon and stars, and some of them the earth, and wild beasts, and birds, and creeping things, and trees, and stones, and the creatures of the sea, and the waters, and the winds. . . . The land became filled with idols in the form of men and women.
Eventually, the worship of idols, of the elements, of the cycles of the sun, moon, and stars, and of every other form of life and even the dead, led to other conduct unbecoming descendants of the survivors of the Great Flood—that prodigious punishment inflicted on the people in Noah’s time for their enormous wickedness.
Sorcery was introduced. There was great violence throughout the land. Human life was treated as something of little worth. The odious practice of sacrificing children to idols became common. Justice was nonexistent. Nothing was sacred except the pervasive and widespread worship of dumb idols.
As a young man, Abram rejected idolatry. He came to the conclusion that idolatry was irrational in a very rational way. According to the account contained in an ancient text called the Apocalypse of Abraham, one day Abram (his name had not yet been changed to Abraham) was guarding the idols of his father, Terah, and his brother, Nahor. Terah and Nahor believed in covering all of their bases by worshipping a variety of idols made from wood, stone, gold, silver, copper, and iron. On this occasion, one of the stone idols fell over. While Abram and Terah were lifting it back to its upright position, the head fell off. Undeterred, Terah simply used his tools to carve a new idol from stone, without a head, and put the broken head upon it.
Apocalypse of Abraham,
This got Abram to questioning.
One day thereafter Abram was sent into the streets to market some of the idols produced by his father, Terah, who was engaged in the trade of crafting and selling idols. The idols were strapped to a donkey. A braying camel caused Abram’s donkey to panic, and several of his father’s idols were smashed. Abram gathered up the pieces and, not knowing what else to do, he threw them into a river. He observed that they simply sank.
The young Abram began to think: Who is the god here, these idols or the man who makes them—my father? When the idol falls over, it can’t lift itself up, my father and I have to do it. A head falls off and my father simply carves a new body and puts on it the head from the broken god. These idols get smashed by an ass and my father will make some more. I throw the smashed idols into the water and they sink. If they cannot make themselves, nor lift themselves up, nor save themselves—how is it that they can help me or save me or my father?
Who is the god here, these idols or the man who makes them—my father? When the idol falls over, it can’t lift itself up, my father and I have to do it. A head falls off and my father simply carves a new body and puts on it the head from the broken god. These idols get smashed by an ass and my father will make some more. I throw the smashed idols into the water and they sink. If they cannot make themselves, nor lift themselves up, nor save themselves—how is it that they can help me or save me or my father?
The boy Abram rejected the gods of his fathers. For this his father was furious with him. Some accounts assert that he even tried to kill the young boy.
But Abram was soon to discover Jehovah, for Jehovah called out and revealed himself to Abram in what was to be the first of a number of remarkable conversations between God and man.
Abram thus became a man unique among his entire generation: He became a believer in one God, the creator of heaven and earth and all things therein—Jehovah of the Old Testament. He not only believed, but Abram was to display over and over again his unparalleled faith in Jehovah and His commands. Because of this faith, Abram was to receive abundant blessings during his own life and the promise of even greater blessings for his posterity.
Abram of Canaan
The biblical account of Abram’s life is quite full. From it we learn that Terah (apparently reconciled to his son) took Abram and his wife, Sarai, as well as his grandson Lot, and they left Ur of the Chaldees and traveled to the land Haran in what is now southern Turkey. There Terah died.
Here, another of those conversations between Jehovah and Abram occurred. Abram was told by Jehovah to leave Haran. For his faithfulness he was promised that Jehovah would make of him a great nation and would also make his name great. Of considerable significance, Abram was promised that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed.
Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Considering that he was to live to be one hundred and seventy-five years old, he was just entering middle age.
Abram took with him his nephew Lot, who had become a most fortunate addition to Abram and Sarai’s household. He was joined by all those whom Abram had already converted to his belief in one true God.
For Abram was a missionary! Once he became converted to the worship of Jehovah, he did not hesitate to try to convert others. The great Jewish priest, general, and historian Flavius Josephus said of Abraham:
He was a person of great sagacity, both for understanding all things and persuading his hearers, and not mistaken in his opinions; for which reasons he began to have higher notions of virtue than others had and he determined to renew and to change the opinion all men happened then to have concerning God; for he was the first that ventured to publish this notion, That there was but one God, the Creator of the universe.11
Abram was led to the land of the Canaanites. Jehovah promised that land to him.
Although it was a “promised land” for Abram and his heirs, it was not without its challenges. A great famine hit the land of the Canaanites and Abram was forced to leave his land of promise to find food for himself and his household in the land of Egypt.
This led to one of the more interesting events in Abram’s life. Sarai, his wife (who was also either his niece or his half-sister), was apparently a woman of remarkable beauty. In one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient texts discovered in 1947, Sarai was described thus: “Above all women her beauty stands out; her loveliness is far above them all. And with all this beauty there is in her great wisdom.”
In that day, the Egyptian king, the Pharaoh, got what he wanted. Abram realized that if it were known that the lovely Sarai was his wife, the Egyptians would simply kill him so that the Pharaoh could take her as his own. To avoid that fate, and not dishonestly, Abram asked Sarai to tell the Egyptians that she was his sister.
Upon entering Egypt, Sarai was immediately noticed. She was, as predicted, taken to the king, but Jehovah protected her virtue by bringing multiple curses upon the Pharaoh. Eventually, Pharaoh figured out what was happening. Abram was called and healed the king. In gratitude Pharaoh bestowed upon him great riches of gold, silver, fine clothing, and excellent cattle. He was also given Hagar as a handmaiden to Sarai. Abram and Lot returned to their promised land much richer men than they had left it.
But Abram did not leave the Egyptians without bestowing gifts of his own. Ancient records reveal that he was a man with great knowledge about astronomy and that he taught the Egyptians all he knew about astrology and other sciences.
Abram—A Man of Justice and Mercy
Upon returning to Canaan, Abram encountered a crisis of sorts: The land was not big enough for both Abram and Lot now that they were men of great wealth in cattle, flocks, and tents. Fights over the land, and presumably over water, erupted between the herdsmen of Abram and those of Lot. Abram then displayed a character trait that the worship of Jehovah must have nurtured—unselfishness. He gave Lot the choice, “Do you take the lands to the left or to the right?” Lot, not quite as soft of heart, took those lands that were the plain of Jordan, near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, primarily because there was so much water to be found on that plain.
Perhaps in recognition of Abram’s selflessness, Jehovah again visited Abram and renewed his promise that all of the lands in every direction would be his and that his posterity would be as numerous as the dust of the earth.
The history of the Middle East, then as now, was one of constant warfare. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were attacked and sacked. Many captives were taken, along with all of the wealth of those two cities. Lot was among the captives. Abram raised a private army and pursued the plunderers. He succeeded in recovering both the captives and the plunder.
The king greeted Abram upon his return to the city of Sodom. Filled with gratitude, he offered to let Abram keep the spoil of plunder if Abram would give up the captive people. Abram again displayed his tempered soul by refusing to keep any of the valuable loot that he had recovered.
Shortly thereafter, Abram was going to bargain with the Lord to try to save the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah from total destruction because of their wickedness. Again, he demonstrated compassion and mercy unusual for the age.
These individual acts of unselfishness and mercy may not seem like much—except when viewed in light of the era in which Abram lived. Moral creeds were almost nonexistent. The acclaimed Code of Hammurabi, a Babylonian code of conduct that included protection of the weak, was still a hundred years in the future. The ethical constrictions of the Old Testament law of Moses were centuries away. This was an age where “might made right.” A convenient advantage of worshipping idols was that they did not demand much from one in the way of restrictions on personal conduct. Individual acts of kindness or mercy were undoubtedly extended, but there was little by way of overarching morality that demanded it.
Abram was a rarity.
And among his rare gifts was that of great faith. He had been promised an innumerable posterity, yet, to this point, he and Sarai had produced no offspring—not one.
After the rescue of Lot, Jehovah again appeared to Abram in a vision. Abram was shown the heavens and was promised that he would have more posterity than the stars in the night sky. Genesis tells us, “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
Abram Receives a New Name
Sarai, faithful wife that she was, knew that her husband desired children. She did not have faith that they were to be born to her, however.
Sarai had been given the handmaiden Hagar by the Pharaoh of Egypt. Jewish tradition claims that Hagar was, in fact, a daughter of Pharaoh. Sarai suggested that Abram take Hagar as a wife—which offer Abram accepted. Hagar promptly became pregnant.
Upon learning this, Sarai reacted very badly. She drove Hagar from her home. As Hagar fled into the wilds, she was approached by an angel and told to return to Sarai, to submit to her, and to be reassured that she was pregnant with a son. The angel also told Hagar that she was to name the son Ishmael. She was promised that Ishmael would be the source of a multitude of grandchildren and other posterity for Hagar and Abram. Hagar did as she had been instructed, Ishmael was born, and the angel’s prophecies came to pass.
Thirteen years later, as Abram approached one hundred years of age, Jehovah appeared to him and renewed His promises. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham and Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah. Abraham was told that he would be the father of many nations and kings and much posterity. Abraham entered into a covenant with Jehovah that Abraham’s posterity would worship Jehovah and none other. The entire land of Canaan was promised to Abraham’s posterity. As a sign of their covenant, Abraham was told to circumcise all males in his line when they were eight days old.
Finally, Abraham was told that Sarah would yet bear him a son and that she would be a mother of nations, kings, and people.
To this point, Abraham had been a faithful man—but one reading the biblical account might conclude that he did not receive this news with much faith. In fact, it relates that he fell on his face and laughed. How was he, almost one hundred years old, to father another child, by a woman who was ninety? The account may also be interpreted to mean that, upon receiving the news that he and Sarah were yet to have posterity, he rejoiced.
Isaac Is Promised
Shortly thereafter, the man with a new name was again visited by the Lord. Again the promise was made that he and Sarah would become the parents of a son. This time Sarah was eavesdropping on the conversation. She too laughed to herself upon hearing that news.
But Jehovah kept his promise, and Sarah bore a son and named him, according to the Lord’s command, Isaac.
Genesis reports that Isaac became the chosen son, the son through whom the great promises made to Abraham were to be fulfilled—the kings, the nations, and the multitudes of people.
At the demand of Sarah, Abraham reluctantly forced Hagar and Ishmael out of the community. Abraham was assured by Jehovah not to worry about Ishmael. As promised, after Hagar arranged for Ishmael to marry an Egyptian, he became the father of twelve princes, with a great posterity of his own.
With Hagar and Ishmael in exile, Isaac was the sole heir to Abraham’s pledged noble and plentiful posterity. That is why the next chapter in the Abraham story is so significant.
The Great Trial
Jehovah again visited Abraham and gave him an ultimate test: He was to take his son of the promise, Isaac, to the land of Moriah and offer him up as a burnt offering. With no recorded hesitation, Abraham complied.
Moriah was a three-day journey away. Abraham took with them fire and wood for the fire. As they approached the place where the sacrifice was to occur, the young Isaac became curious. How old Isaac was is not known, but he was old enough to observe that his father was bringing the fire and the wood but no lamb to be sacrificed. When he asked his father why, Abraham assured Isaac that the Lord would provide a lamb for the sacrifice.
When Abraham and his son reached the spot designated by Jehovah, an altar was built. Abraham arranged the wood, then bound Isaac and laid him on the altar. He took his knife and stretched out his hand to kill his dearly loved son. At the last moment, an angel called out from heaven and stopped the test.
The angel praised Abraham and his faithfulness. A ram was provided to complete the sacrifice. Abraham and Isaac returned to their home.
Abraham demonstrated his ultimate faith in Jehovah by his willingness to comply with Jehovah’s command to sacrifice the son of the promise. In the New Testament, the great Apostle Paul asserts that Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac because he had the simple faith that even if he killed his son, Jehovah would raise Isaac from the dead.
Once more, all the promises of kings, nations, and posterity were reaffirmed. Abraham was again promised that through his posterity all the nations of the earth were to be blessed.
Before his death Abraham arranged for Isaac to marry one of his kindred, a cousin named Rebekah. To them was born a son named Jacob, whose name was changed by Jehovah to Israel. To Israel and his wives were born twelve princes whose posterity became known as the twelve tribes of Israel. One of those tribes, headed by Israel’s son Judah, became known as the Jews. Jesus Christ was a descendant of Abraham through Isaac, Israel, and Judah.
What If There Had Been No Abraham?
What is it about this man who lived four thousand years ago that qualifies him to be deemed a giant among men?
The best way to answer this question is to imagine what this world would have been like if there had been no Abraham.
What if he had never been born?
What if he had been sacrificed by his father as a youth?
What if the Pharaoh of Egypt had murdered him in order to be free to marry Sarai?
It would be a world without a belief in God, a Father in Heaven. The pillar of all of Abraham’s legacy was monotheism—the belief that there is just one God, Jehovah of the Old Testament, and that Jehovah is the creator of heaven and earth, the God of all mankind, and that we are all his children. Abraham was not the first monotheist, but he was the one who made it stick. “He is the first person to understand that there is only one God. This is his greatest contribution to civilization and the shared endowment of the Abrahamic faiths.”
President John Adams said:
The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. . . . [God] ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe . . . [which is] to be the great essential principle of morality, and consequently all civilization.20
Monotheism had existed before Abraham, but its practice had been lost. It had even been abandoned by those whose memory of God’s punishment by way of the Great Flood was very vivid.
Why? Why was Abraham’s God so hard to follow?
History shows that a belief in a God who cannot be seen is not the norm. Belief in a God who requires faith to worship is the rare exception. The worship of tangible idols, multiple gods, and one’s ancestors is just much easier.
In addition, worshipping idols that do not require one to exercise discipline, follow a moral code, or do the “unnatural” unselfish thing is vastly easier than following a God who expects his followers to conduct themselves in ways that require sacrifice and self-control in their personal conduct.
The world in which Abraham lived—and in which all of those who followed his teachings of monotheism have lived down to the modern day—is a world that naturally rejects the Abrahamic concept of God.
It is also a world that resists the spiritual worldview that Abraham’s life and example gave birth to. Yet Abraham somehow resurrected that belief and instilled the spiritual worldview in his posterity. Abraham and his adherents have kept alive the exceptional.
Let us take this analysis further.
Imagine a world in which Judaism, Christianity, and Islam did not exist.
Those who consider Abraham part of their religious heritage are, to put it mildly, numerous. One author asserts that “half the people alive today claim to be descended from him.”
All Jews descended from Abraham. Those who are literally descended from one of the other twelve tribes of Israel are direct descendants as well. Anyone who converts to Judaism is also deemed to be a descendant of Abraham.
Imagine a world without the contributions of the direct descendants of Abraham throughout the history of the world, especially those descended from his grandson Judah.
The Muslims consider Abraham to be a quasi-founder of their faith. They believe that eighteen of the twenty-five acknowledged prophets of Islam come through the family of Abraham. He is a significant figure in the Islamic holy book, the Koran. He figures prominently in historically significant events in Islamic history, such as the rebuilding of the Ka’ba—a black cube, forty feet along each side, that lies at the center of Islamic worship in Mecca and is part of the required hajj: the sacred pilgrimage to Mecca expected of all faithful Muslims. Abraham also played a significant role in Muhammad’s night journey wherein he saw Abraham and learned that he even resembled him physically. To the Muslims, Abraham represents faith.
He does to Christians as well. Christians also believe that those who have been baptized unto Christ become part of Abraham’s seed and heirs to the promises made to him.
But of most importance to Christians, it was through the lineage of Abraham that Jesus Christ was to be born.
Imagine a world that had never heard of Jesus Christ or his teachings!
It is true that Abraham did not leave a lengthy compilation of teachings. He did not generate a list, such as the Prophet Moses did centuries later, of those things his posterity were to do or not to do.
But the biblical account of Abraham’s life, found in the book of Genesis, did contain specific examples of moral behavior that were very enlightened for his time. The examples of selflessness and mercy displayed by Abraham are not insignificant, especially considering the violent and ruthless times in which he lived.
Genesis tells us that Abraham and his posterity kept “the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” Again, among people for whom justice was an alien concept, a man and household who did do justice were of no small consequence.
Abraham’s example of faith in Jehovah is, without doubt, one of the most significant elements of his legacy. His faith was expressed in his willingness to accept Jehovah as the one and only God and to obey the command to leave his home in Haran. (“This is an extraordinary request at any level, but it’s made even more profound by the fact that he’s aging, that his wife is barren, and that he doesn’t even know where he’s going.”) Unquestionably, his passing of the ultimate test, Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son of the promise, is unparalleled in religious history. These examples of faithful obedience have served to bolster the faithful obedience of all of those who consider Abraham part of their religious heritage—Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Despite the fact that Abraham did not personally leave a written belief system, his acceptance of monotheism did lead to certain distinctive behaviors by its adherents. One scholar of the subject asserts:
Once the Jews accepted the idea of monotheism (the doctrine that there is only one God), they began to behave in a special way without consciously knowing they were doing so. This change in behavior was at first imperceptible, but became ever more noticeable, setting them farther and farther apart from others.
Among those behaviors that distinguished Abraham’s followers was the rejection of human sacrifice. The killing of humans as a part of religious ritual has been common in multiple societies throughout the history of mankind: It existed among those people who encircled Abraham and his descendants. It existed in China, India, Europe, and both North and South America. It is rumored to exist in some areas of the world even today. The followers of Abraham rejected human sacrifice, and from that belief emerged the concept that human life is sacred.
Abraham and his descendants refuted the pagan fertility rites and sexual perversions that dominated the pagan worshippers among whom they lived. They taught that sexual morality was required of the followers of Jehovah. This teaching has been a distinguishing feature of Abraham’s legacy throughout the ages.
From his adherents have come other great and notable teachings that have enlightened the world, a few examples being: the concept of loving one’s neighbor as oneself, freedom of religious choice, and a code for the conduct of judges and the administration of justice.
These enlightened beliefs in the human condition have been the foundation for most of the advances in humanity since the time of Abraham. Again, they are the foundation of the worldview that has as its emphasis “moral truth and right conduct and its motto of Thus said the Lord.”
Wherever Abraham’s influence has been most powerfully found, philosophy and religion have been very different from where there is no such influence. Justice, respect for human life, and the pursuit of equality are traits uniquely the offshoot of Abraham’s intellectual offspring.
Let it be said that Abraham’s discovery, conversion, faithfulness, example of obedience, and his zeal in spreading his belief to all who would listen did change the world.
Before Abraham, monotheism did not exist. After him, the spiritual worldview and its attendant blessings to the human condition have survived, among populations tiny and large, surrounded by pagans, without exception—for four thousand years.
Abraham was a giant!
A great read!
by Stephanie - reviewed on July 25, 2013
In this book Ted Steward takes the lives of 7 people: Father Abraham, Pericles, the Apostle Paul, Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa. These strong minded men and women are the ones Stewart refers to "giants" people who have made contributions to society that left it altered in some way. He takes a close look at each person and demonstrated how they changed the course of history. Of course the list is way too short, it is nearly impossible to just narrow down just 7 people but this list is inspiring. Stewart examines the character traits that each shares that marked them as giants by showing how human history was changed by their actions. He first tells you what the world was like when that person was born then shares how the world was changed because he or she was in it. His hope is that by sharing these stories others will be inspired to "make their mark upon the world."
by Lisa - reviewed on July 23, 2013
Throughout the course of time, there have been those people who have helped to change the world for the better. This book looks at seven men and women who made amazing contributions to society, some with their intellect and wisdom and some just with their love. By looking at the lives and life-changing actions of these people, we can learn about how wonderful things came about and how sometimes small things can make huge differences. This book was quite inspiring to me. There is so much fantastic information about these people who have done so many amazing things. Of course, I'm not sure how the author was able to keep it to only seven people. There are some people that I would love to have seen in there, but I can't argue with any of the people included for sure. Some made amazing scientific contributions and some just made contributions with the way they lived their lives. It's amazing to see how they were able to accomplish so much good. Sometimes I think they weren't even aware of how their lives would affect so many others. This is a great example to us to keep trying our best as we never know how it will help someone else. I enjoyed all of the life stories in this book, but I found Marie Curie to be of particular interest for me. She really lived an amazing life, and her contributions to the world have allowed for amazing medical advancements. I think that this book made me really want to just try to be the best I can be. That's really all these people were doing. Trying to make life better in a way that they could. Luckily for us they were able to make amazing things happen. I think families would benefit from learning about all of these people and looking for ways they can change their own little worlds. Definitely check this book out to be inspired and ready to take on anything! Book provided for review.
by Shauna - reviewed on July 17, 2013
If you had to name just 7 people to represent the giants among men, who would you choose? I am SO IMPRESSED with Ted Stewart's choices! And his explanations for WHY he chose these 7 are so enlightening! I have never thought about not only the world-wide, but also, time-wide differences these 7 amazing people made in order for our lives to be better today. This book gives you greater understanding and appreciate for: Abraham or Ur Pericles the Greek Paul-Apostle to the Gentiles The Incomparable Mr. Newton Madame Marie Curie Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. Mother Teresa These 7 giants "individually and collectively altered the way that we are governed, the way that we think, the way that we act, the nature of our aspirations, the priorities that we pursue, what we understand, and the comforts that we enjoy." They have made our lives, and us, better! DON'T JUST READ THIS BOOK... LET IT CHANGE YOU INTO A GIANT! HOW? Truly love those within your home, school, work, community. Reach out to someone who is lonely, depressed, or in need of help. Take on the curse of pornography and the degrading of American culture. Fight those forces and influences that are destroying America's family. Fight against racism and bigotry. Study the sciences...cures for diseases still need to be found. Give generously to a charity.
by PIa - reviewed on May 29, 2013
Stewart's book The Mark of Giant focuses on an interesting selection of characters and their impact on world history. Narrowing it down to seven will naturally leave room for disagreement regarding the selection, but Stewart does a credible job of delivering a concise and interesting read that inspires as well as teaches. I would esp recommend this book to teachers and home schoolers.
Educational and Inspiring
by Heather - reviewed on July 25, 2013
To the reader who likes to sit down and digest small bits of history, this is the perfect introduction to seven people who left a huge footprint. The author chooses Abraham of Ur, Pericles, the Apostle Paul, Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa and gives a biography as well as turning points in their lives. He opens us up to the philosophies they held that changed society. In particular, I enjoyed the chapter on Abraham of Ur who rejected the teachings of his father and adopted monotheism as opposed to idolatry. Who had enough faith in his God that he was willing to sacrifice all he held dear, and who was given the opportunity to be a father of many nations. I've always been a follower of Mother Theresa. I had no idea she was born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Serbia, or that her Catholic faith was a minority religion in her country. Hearing how she was raised by a mother of greatness and some of the teachings in her childhood home really filled in the gaps of how she became such a world force. "When you do good, do it quietly, as if you were throwing a stone into the sea." p.209 Mother Theresa's own mother, no doubt, had a great role in molding her into the selfless woman of God she became. I learned a great deal about the giants Ted Stewart picked! I would recommend reading this book a little at a time and pondering how the lessons these giants taught can be folded into our own life. This book is about history. More specifically,it is a book about how strong-minded men and women have changed the course of history." - introduction, page 1