Andy Andrews is quite a story-teller! And through his The Final Summit narrative he tells the story of David Ponder – a successful business who has learned some valuable life-lessons through some unconventional means. Ponder is a “Traveler” which means he has traveled through time and met other Travelers through history. On these travels he learned Seven Decisions from seven historical figures. And from each Traveler he obtained seven written statements to help him remember the decisions.
1. On a piece of folded paper were the words, “The Buck Stops Here” from Harry Truman (“I will take responsibility)
2. On a tightly wound scroll from King Solomon was written, “I will seek wisdom.”
3. Union Colonel Joshua Chamberlain had hastily written the words, “I am a person of action” on a scrap of paper.
4. From Christopher Columbus was a piece of parchment with the phrase, “I have a decided heart.”
5. On pages torn from her own diary Anne Frank had written, “Today, I will choose to be happy.”
6. Written while on the train to Gettysburg Lincoln had written, “I will greet each day with a forgiving spirit.”
7. Finally, on a scroll of celestial paper from the Archangel Gabriel were the words, “I will persist without exception.”
By the time the reader concludes the first chapter he has been introduced to these seven decisions and the historical figures responsible for each one. From there the reader follows David Ponder as he is re-united with these characters – and several more (Churchill, King David, Benjamin Franklin, several former U.S. presidents, and Eric Erickson.) Ponder and the Travelers are gathered “in order that humanity might have a final opportunity to right its ship.” There task was to answer the questions, “What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?”
Through the chapters that follow, Andrews creates a scenario where the Travelers are working together to answer the question before an ominous hourglass (marking the time humanity has left) runs out of sand! In the midst of this somewhat melodramatic situation Andrews introduces several life-lessons and takes a few side-trips to tell us about some lesser-known Travelers like Eric Erickson and Colonel Joshua Chamberlain. (You will have to read the book to learn their stories!) At times I felt like Andrews wrote the book just to tell us about these two men.
I couldn’t help but notice that most of the Travelers were Americans and that many of them lived in the 20th Century. There were several notable exceptions but it still felt weighted toward recent U.S. history. Still, if you are a fan of this “teach a lesson by telling a story” genre’ then you will find The Final Summit to be engaging, informative, and helpful. If this style of writing is not among your favorites then you might find Andrews’ writing to be a bit tiresome. Does humanity get saved in time? What is the final answer of The Final Summit? For that you will have to read the book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”