American Priestess: The Extraordinary Story of Anna Spafford and the American Colony in Jerusalem
For generations, The American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem has been a well-known retreat for journalists, diplomats, pilgrims and spies. However, few know the story of Anna Spafford, the enigmatic evangelist who was instrumental in its founding.
Branded heretics by Jerusalem’s established Christian missionaries when they arrived in 1881, the Spaffords and their followers nevertheless won over Muslims and Jews with their philanthropy. But when her husband Horatio died, Anna assumed leadership, shocking even her adherents by abolishing marriage and establishing an uneasy dictatorship based on emotional blackmail and religious extremism.
With a controversial heroine at its core, American Priestess provides a fascinating exploration of the seductive power of evangelicalism as well as an intriguing history of an enduring landmark.
“A vivid picture of a dedicated cult's search for answers in the Holy Land and of the tense relationships of religious groups in Jerusalem.” –Janet Wallach, author of Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell
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