book is enjoyable, it's valuable, it is controversial in places.
But it is a history, which means it is one author's perspective
on the past. The book is for readers who love the Monitor,
who love journalism, and who love Christian Science. All of
those will find it valuable."
- John Yemma, Editor
of The Christian Science Monitor, speaking at the book event
in Boston sponsored by the MBE Library.
someone who worked as a writer for The Christian Science Monitor
for 50 years, I have to say that Collins has produced a tremendously
- David R. Francis, Monitor business
and financial editor, foreign correspondent, economic columnist,
1960 to 2011
am so, so grateful for Mr. Collins's
book. I purchased 5 copies to offer to my friends, and it
has been very well-received by all. Please
convey to Mr. Collins for me that I feel his work expressess
integrity in dealing with what could be perceived as a controversial
subject, and yet expresses his generous love for the mission
of The Christian Science Monitor, as established by Mary Baker
Eddy, and what he reveals as its ordained place in the world.
I have subscribed to it for over 20 years, have provided several
gift subscriptions to friends and family, and utililize it
in my Interfaith work in Las Vegas, so it is very dear to
me, and Keith treated the subject with care and respect. Bravo!
Thank you for the publication of this book. -
thoughts about this book are from the context of having read
every one ever published on the subject! I've been wired to
the Monitor for over sixty years, so I found much to relate
to in this very readable story. I thought I knew all there
was to know about the Monitor, but learned more about the
fundamentals of the founder's plan and thinking for the paper
than I had ever known or thought about before. Collins's thorough
and balanced history is very readable even with all the solid
research and interviews that never make it tedious. His narrative
on what some call "Monitor journalism" and how it
has evolved is most interesting. Readers of the various products
of the Monitor today and those who are journalists or journalism
students should glean much enlightenment from reading this
fast moving story. The people involved over the years have
made the Monitor what it is today and many back stories about
them are shared. Collins finishes up with an insightful explanation
of how the Monitor news organization is approaching its mission
extract, April 30, 2012, Page 5, in The Christian Science Monitor.
John Yemma, Monitor Editor:
more than a century, the Monitor has chronicled humanity's journey.
We do not flinch from writing about wars, repression, and corruption.
As in our report from Myanmar, we also watch for progress. Why do
we see that as the Monitor's mission? Keith Collins, a former Monitor
staffer, has written a well-researched history of this newspaper
that examines that question. The story he tells is valuable if you
are a journalism buff, a Monitor fan, a Christian Scientist, or
a person of any faith (or none) who wonders what drives this 104-year-old
enterprise - which carries the name of a religious denomination
but is widely accepted as a nondenominational source of thoughtful,
accurate, world news.
Not every part of Mr. Collins's book, "The Christian Science
Monitor: Its History, Mission, and People," will make everyone
happy. As in any history, some facts and conclusions are arguable.
I found this to be so in a section dealing with the internal tensions
that led to the resignation of Kay Fanning as editor in 1988 and
the subsequent rise and fall of an ambitious broadcasting venture.
Collins distills the central question facing the Monitor as this:
Did Mary Baker Eddy found the Monitor as "mainly a good, public-spirited
newspaper that represented a more constructive approach to journalism?"
Or was it "not designed to make people comfortable so much
as to upgrade how they thought, helping them become less fearful
and selfish, more perceptive and generous?" He notes that throughout
the Monitor's history, its editors, reporters, governing boards,
subscribers, and members of the church have sincerely stood on both
sides of that question. But why should it be either/or? Why not
both/and? Public-spirited journalism and the decreasing of fear
and selfishness are not mutually exclusive.
In any endeavor - from government to business, family to church
- people disagree. But if motives are honest and noble, they have
a divine source, which allows us to respect and value each other's
Many readers will value and respect Collins's work. And who can
argue with his conclusion - that the Monitor is not living up to
its full potential? Like humanity itself, the Monitor can always
Christian Science Monitor, July 9, 2012, p39:
[It] is an extraordinary piece of work. I thought I knew all there
was to know about the Monitor, but learned more about its founder's
plan and thinking for the paper thanIhad ever known before. - D.M.
blog January 2013:
you have any interest in the history of The Christian Science Monitor,
you might want to read a book recently published on the paper titled,
The Christian Science Monitor: Its History, Mission, and People,
by Keith S. Collins.
I feel much better informed
about the papers history after reading the book, learning
about the trials and tribulations it has faced over the decades,
and why it continues to succeed.
Collins looks at the
history of the paper mostly through the effect each editor had on
the papers success. He starts with Eddys inception of
the paper and her desire, to injure no man, but to bless all
mankind, and then works his way through what he views each
editor contributed, including analysis of how surrounding events
in the church impacted the papers ability to function. He
records a couple of near demises for the paper with colorful detail,
celebrates periods of flourishing success, and caps it all off with
an exposition on the unique contribution a Monitor journalist makes
to world thought when looking at the news through the eyes of a
You can order the book
at Nebbadoon Press