The Remarkable Life of John Murray Spear, Agitator for the Spirit Land
by John Benedict Buescher
University of Notre Dame Press, 2006
(378 pages, $30.00, hardcover)
reviewed by Anne Barbeau Gardiner
In The Remarkable Life of John Murray Spear, John Buescher draws on a vast array of primary sources to tell the riveting story of an American Faust, a Universalist minister who first gained recognition as a radical abolitionist, labor reformer, and opponent of the death penalty, but who in middle age became a medium for spirits he described as “entirely foreign to his own consciousness.”
A man who once refused to “be bound by party or by creed” but . . .