Numerous readers discovered Merton through his hefty autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain (HBJ, 1948). Forest is one of them. In this considerably shorter volume, Forest introduces the many facets of the 20th-century Trappist monk whose life included not only the physical work, worship, and contemplation of a monastic community, but prolific writing as well (a partial list of Merton's works is two pages long). Forest lucidly chronicles Merton's life, illuminating it with the events that shaped it and the insights that emanated from it. Although his esteem for Merton and his contributions to the peace movement are apparent, he treats Merton's weaknesses frankly. As a result of Forest's clarity and conciseness, his work is an excellent choice for general religion collections.-- Cynthia Widmer, Downingtown, Pa.
If you have to read one book about Thomas Merton, this is the one to read. it is concise, insightful, complete -- Paul Wilkes "Living with Wisdom"