By Myron H. Phelps, Revised and Annotated by Marzieh Gail
Myron Phelps's Life and Teachings of Abbas Effendi is a classic
of Bahá'í literature. It was the first attempt in
English to write a full-length book about 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the
Master. An American lawyer from New York, Phelps was not himself
a Bahá'í but was deeply attracted to the Bahá'í
teachings and had come to know and to love 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
His work was published in 1903; this book reprints the first six
chapters of that volume.
Phelps had traveled to Palestine and had stayed in 'Akká
for one month as the guest of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. He records with
tender devotion the daily life and habits of the Master--his service
to the poor, his crushing workday, his tolerance, his gait, his
gestures, even the food that he ate. These chapters offer the reader
a unique and priceless portrait of the Perfect Exemplar of the Bahá'í
way of life.
The most precious portion of the book, however, is the history
of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's life (and that of all the Holy Family)
told in intimate detail by the Greatest Holy Leaf (Bahíyyih
Khánum), the Master's sister. This is the longest and most
complete interview of the Holy Leaf known to exist. Her words are
as simple and direct as they are powerful and moving. She tells
of the intense joys and the many sorrows of her life in exile with
her Father, Bahá'u'lláh, and her brother. Her narrative
provides a view of Bahá'í history seldom seen elsewhere.
Marzieh Gail's new foreword to this reprint provides the reader
with a broad picture of the historical circumstances surrounding
Phelps's visit to 'Akká and his publication of this book.
Price: $19.95 paperback
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