Editor’s Note: Acacia Resources, BCE’s publishing division, has unveiled its newest online resource: Courageous Churches, a 13-lesson Sunday School curriculum. As churches and individuals begin to purchase the material, we offer this list of famous books about courage—for possible reflection and use by students and teachers.
Profiles in Courage, by John F. Kennedy
Written in 1955, then Senator John F. Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for this volume examining the courageous exploits of eight of his political predecessors—John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster among them.
In the book, Kennedy wrote, “The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less than a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.”
Profiles in Courage for Our Time, by Caroline Kennedy
The Kennedy family established the Profiles in Courage Award in 1990. Twelve years later, Caroline Kennedy edited a collection chronicling those award winners, which have included campaign-reform champions John McCain and Russell Feingold.
Let’s Roll: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage, by Lisa Beamer
This book topped the New York Times best-seller list last year when it was released. Lisa Beamer, the widow of United Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer, tells of her life before, during and after 9-11.
The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane
This classic work of American literature pits young recruit Henry Fleming against not only the Confederate army, but, more importantly, against himself. He struggles with courage to fight and ponders the extent to which courage is natural or cultivated.
Haugen helps readers uncover the courage needed to help rescue the oppressed. It offers practical steps, inspired by Scripture, for overcoming injustice and oppression. (Read EthicsDaily.com’s review of this book.)
Smedes is a well-known author and former professor of theology and ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary. This book helps readers live that “life of distinction,” marked partially by courage.
Living the 7 Habits: Stories of Courage and Inspiration, by Stephen Covey
Covey’s 1989 book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, was a publishing wonder. This 1999 follow-up offers more than 70 stories of ordinary people acting courageously.
Courage in a Dangerous World, by Eleanor Roosevelt
This book is actually a collection of the First Lady’s essays, columns and letters. They trace her political activism—and courage—in areas such as discrimination, poverty, war, democracy and the role of women.
The Twilight of Courage, by Bodie and Brock Thoene
The Thoenes, a husband-and-wife writing team whose more than three dozen books have sold millions of copies, specialize in novels of historical fiction—with a Christian infusion. Twilight is set in World War II and intertwines several stories of courage in the face of a Nazi threat. The book won the Gold Medallion Book Award.