Do you wonder how we got where we are in our world today–where our current ideas on religion, science, psychology, economics, government, and education came from? David Breese wrote a book nearly twenty years ago entitled Seven Men Who Rule the World From the Grave. In it he disscusses the lives and work of seven men: Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Julius Wellhausen, John Dewey, Sigmund Freud, John Maynard Keynes, and Soren Kierkegard. He critiques their work from an evangelical Christian perspective.
Breese’s book is not very long, which means that his exploration of how these men impact our world today is pretty cursory. Although it is a cursory treatment, it is a good introduction for the casual reader who wants an overview. It is also useful for the more informed and scholarly reader who wants to consider the impact that these seven men had on the world as a group.
I recommend the book to Christians who are not very familiar with these seven men and even for those who are. I found it useful to have their ideas laid out in a condensed format and found Breese to be very insightful in how those ideas still influence us. I did not agree with everything Breese wrote, particularly in the chapter on Kierkegaard, but who understands Kierkegaard anyway? It’s not a substitute for good biographies on these highly influential men, but it is a handy little volume.