Infinite Horizons: The Life and Times of Horace Holley

Soft Cover

This book tells the story of a unique life, of one who was part of a turning point in history and left his indelible imprint on it. It encompasses the sweeping story of the development of the North American Bahá’í community between 1914 and 1959.

Horace Holley spent his energies and talents on building a better world, one he knew he would never live long enough to see. Yet this is not simply the story of someone who was exceptionally farsighted, it is the tale of a man who developed an unusual ability to read the times, to perceive and understand what was happening around him in the world and, through putting his thinking into words and action, set in motion revolutionary changes. He stood at the centre of many transitions: in the arts, in war and peace, but most of all, in the development of a new religion – the Bahá’í Faith.

From the moment Horace first learned about Bahá’u’lláh and accepted Him, he set about promoting the ideals and teachings of the Bahá’í Faith both within the community of believers and to the public at large, especially among leaders of thought. Securing world peace was perhaps his greatest interest and desire. Exploring how the establishment of international institutions could bring that about, he ultimately concluded that a world government based upon spiritual principles wedded to the elimination of elements of national sovereignty was the only solution.

Thus began his efforts, under the guidance of Shoghi Effendi, in the construction of the Bahá’í Administrative Order which he believed in the fullness of time would become the system adopted by the peoples of the world to govern the planet. As the old structures administering the nations were being torn down through two World Wars, Horace Holley was among the handful of devoted Bahá’ís quietly, unnoticed, busily building up the new. He was among the main individuals laying down the foundation stones. He was a champion builder starting the erection of the edifice that would govern mankind in the future, that would save it. Laying the groundwork for the establishment of that embryo of a future world government – the Universal House of Justice – became his overarching objective.

In his later life, the word often used to describe him was ‘luminous’. Little wonder, then, that in 1951, Shoghi Effendi appointed him to the first contingent of those named as Hands of the Cause of God.

As the fortunes of the Bahá’í Faith rise, as the numbers of its adherents and supporters increase, and as its capacity to remake society grows, Horace Holley’s accomplishments will be judged with greater clarity. Only then will humanity acknowledge the debt it owes to this quiet spiritual giant.

Average rating 10 out of 10 ( based on 2 reviews )

The Arc of an Inspiring Life!

Review by Anne Perry on 10/3/2023

Far more than a factual biography of a person, a time period within the annals of the Baha'i Faith, and a glimpse of relevant places including Italy, France, New York, Green Acre, Wilmette, and the Holy Land, this book offers a vibrant trajectory of a life that can inspire and reinvigorate our own. Kathryn Hogenson writes creatively, cogently, and with penetrating historical analysis, and, along with providing an insightful context of Baha'i leadership and development, offers a portrait of a spiritual giant but also a person with vulnerabilities and struggles to whom we can relate. The fact that Holley became ever more enkindled during his final days inspires our own commitment to the spiritual path and godly attributes, especially during our own turbulent time. I am still inspired by the book months after reading it!

Climax x 2

Review by Michael V Day on 3/29/2022

Just when you are telling yourself the information in this book about Hand of the Cause Horace Holley could not be more astounding, more impressive, author Kathryn Hogenson hits you with the first climax of the story. And you are only part of the way in. It isn't only about Horace. It is really more about 'Abdu'l-Baha. I had to put the book down to allow what I read sink in. And then, after turning page after page, unwrapping the tests and triumphs in the North American Baha'i community, I started noticing there was some other presence overlooking this story about hero Horace. Yes, it was Shoghi Effendi. But where was he in the text? I was flying above the storm clouds -- yes, literally in a plane-- when the next climax hit me. The Guardian had arrived in the story.It becomes obvious why those who met him called him "beloved". I again put down the book to absorb it all. If you want a story that welds you to the inspiring history of the Faith, reach for Infinite Horizons.

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