Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Book on Mentoring

This new book on mentoring is a republication of a rare, difficult to obtain book with the new title: Lover of Life: F W Boreham’s Tribute to His Mentor. It comes with a new foreword and epilogue.

There are other books which deal comprehensively with the important nuts and bolts of mentoring as well as building a rationale.

Lover of Life, in the captivating Boreham style, tells the story of a mentoring relationship. Written in his retirement, after he had surveyed his life and penned his autobiography, Boreham realized how crucial his mentor had been to him and his wife. Frank Boreham writes this tribute to J. J. Doke and in the process enables readers to see the indispensable elements in every productive mentoring relationship.

Lover of Life is a tantalizing sketch of Joseph John Doke, a Baptist Minister, artist and author, who was born in 1861 and ministered in England, New Zealand and South Africa. It is the stirring account of a frail man who became a fighter against discriminating legislation and an advocate with Mahatma Gandhi in championing the freedom of Indians in South Africa. As well as serving as pastor of the Johannesburg Baptist church Doke participated in protests, contributed to newspapers and had the distinction of writing the first biography of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1913 he visited Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) to explore a new development for the South African Baptist Missionary Society and died tragically on his way home.

Many people today speak about mentoring as if it is a new phenomenon about which contemporary leaders should be engaged. It has been called by different names (supervision, curacy, direction) but the practice has been around forever and was superbly practiced by J J Doke and F W Boreham.

Instead of offering a treatise on Effective Mentoring, Boreham in his inimitable way tells stories of how it worked for him and how pivotal such a relationship was in his own life and career as an author.

This book is a good stimulus to anyone embarking on a new mentoring relationship. This short story about the friendship between J J Doke and Frank Boreham provides a wealth of insight and a hopeful vision of what a mentoring relationship might become.

Geoff Pound

Image: Lover of Life