Powerful and inspiring teachers can profoundly impact their students, both in this life and in the eternities. Many of us are fortunate to look back fondly on one or two influential teachers who played a critical role in shaping our personalities or careers. Anyone who is a teacher, whether in a formal or informal classroom, or anyone who has had an inspiring teacher will enjoy the educational biography of Karl G. Maeser, written by another teacher, A. LeGrand "Buddy" Richards, a professor of educational leadership in the McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University.
Richards was the ideal person to write this book. His great-greatgrandfather is Franklin D. Richards, the European Mission president who baptized Maeser; these two families have been intertwined for generations. As a career educator who has also been a visiting professor at the University of Wu¨rzburg, Germany, Richards undoubtedly found insights that some classically trained historians might have missed. He wrote, "In many ways, without intentionally setting out to do so, my career has been steered so that I could be prepared to write this book" (vii). While Maeser is a significant figure who has been acknowledged primarily in articles, passing references, and footnotes—but generally overlooked by in-depth studies—he was first and foremost an educator, and this is appropriately reflected in Called to Teach.