Mary Baker Eddy: twentieth-century biographers series: an introduction

Originally published in the 1991 pamphlet titled “Mary Baker Eddy: Twentieth-Century Biographers Series: An Introduction”

In the closing years of the twentieth century, there is a growing awareness that the hundred years since 1900 will have registered a magnitude and pace of change, in every aspect of human affairs, which probably exceeds any historic precedent. In political, social and religious institutions and attitudes, in the sciences and industry, in the arts, in how we communicate with each other, humanity has traveled light years in this century.

"Earth's actors," said the Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, "change earth's scenes...." Eddy, Mary Baker. Message to The Mother Church for 1902. Boston: The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1902, p. 17.  As we look back over the landscape of this century, some towering figures emerge into view: political leaders, scientists and inventors, authors, artists and musicians, social and religious pioneers, industrialists, and many others who helped "change earth's scenes."

Typically, when someone comes along who changes human perceptions and ways of acting, he or she attracts biographers. If an individual career is perceived, with growing distance, to have been especially significant in its impact on human affairs and changing ideas, the shelf of biography steadily expands; and each new published work, even though it may cover some of the ground already treated in earlier works, is expected to bring further insight into the meaning of a life, a mind, and a career.

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