Machen Bio: Retro + Improved

Publishers frequently catch me by surprise. Sometimes (though thankfully not frequently) I’m surprised by my disappointment. But often publishers surprise me in a good way and that was the case very recently when a friend showed me his reprinted copy of Ned Stonehouse’s classic biography J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir (Willow Grove, PA: Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 2004).

I was immediately struck by the similarities it had to my original 1954 Eerdmans edition. Most obvious (and as you can see from the following photos) is the OPC’s attention to fashioning an updated, but similar, dust jacket to the original. That’s a nice touch. And I was surprised by the improvements, too. The text was retypeset and given a new subject index in the back. The most noteworthy upgrade is to see the bio published in a genuine cloth cover–a nice improvement over the Eerdmans faux cloth/paper cover that’s frayed on the bottom from shelfware. So let’s hear it for the new-ish OPC edition of Stonehouse–a classic work with a retro feel and nice upgrades well suited to carry the legacy of Machen for another 50 years.

10 thoughts on “Machen Bio: Retro + Improved

  1. Nice work Tony, but do they still “tyoeset”? or as you say “retypeset” in publishing today. I would have thought it would all be computerized. How are things going at your new home? Hope all is well with you and the family.

  2. It’s rather stodgily written, but it’s nice to see it back in print. Maybe we’ll see a new biography, based on more recent research, one of these days.

  3. Hello Bill! As with many electronic processes these days, the method has changed but the lingo has not. So they still call it retypeset when a book is converted into electronic characters. … Things are good here in the D.C. area. We love the East coast and all it offers. We’ve spent much time in downtown D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg (each are a short distance away). Were slowly discovering new things to see. … So how is the surf in SoCal?

  4. Love Machen! Easier read then Warfield, with as much profunity. How do you get your pics for your blog so clear?

  5. I appreciate all your reviews and the photos of the books. Great books deserve such as you hope to pass them down to another generation of saints.

  6. Wisecarver….GOTCHA on the “profunity”…=).

    I quite agree with Mr. Zuelch on a new biography. D.G. Hart has done some very nice recent work on Machen, perhaps something from this able scholar.

    I happen to think Machen is THE most under-appreciated theologian and NT scholar of the modern era. The man was simply brilliant. But more importantly…he would absolutely not compromise on the gospel. A true warrior for the faith.

  7. I have the 1954 version. Bought it used at the Archives store in Pasadena. It belonged to an OPC library. I’m thinking of digging into it a little later. D.G. Hart’s bio on Machen was great and “jam packed.”

  8. Hi there, just wondering if you are happy for me to use some of these pics as illustrations in an upcoming issue of Australian Presbyterian magazine? (the theme is on Machen’s legacy) Let me know if they are under copyright or if you would like some kind of photographer’s credit.


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