Augustine

Augustine
James J. O’Donnell

James J. O’Donnell sets out here to write a different kind of biography of Augustine of Hippo: one that presents various Augustines (as we are all complex, multifaceted, evolving, and contradictory characters), as well as an Augustine whose meaning and relevance has changed over time. We aren’t who we think we are (as O’Donnell’s epilogue has it), and we are also not who we are going to be. It’s a quirky approach, and can be effective, but I found the essay structure finally failed to give me a coherent picture of the man. Perhaps that was O’Donnell’s point, but I think it assumes a little too much from the general reader (the book’s target audience).