Off the Shelf…On Books: A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey

By Jeff Sandefer and Rev. Robert Sirico

(Grand Rapids, MI: Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, 2012)

I posted the following review for A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey on Amazon this morning. Visit the book’s own website at – Dave

As I read this smallish volume I pondered how best to convey its content and value. In so doing, I was met with mental images of readers, absorbed in its pages: a schoolgirl faced with the daunting challenges of entering a new school and her teenage years simultaneously; a college freshman wrestling with the classroom deconstruction of values of his familial culture, a young couple, not long married, with a small child on the knee and a fledgling business plan on the kitchen table, the middle-aged executive troubled by his incommunicative wife and children and the emptiness of his material gain; the widow (always widowed far too young) pondering the paperwork piled high on the abandoned desk down the hall; or, the octogenarian putting pen to paper writing legacy letters for great-grandchildren still far too young to read.

The point is, A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey, by Jeff Sandefer and Rev. Robert Sirico, intelligently captures the core lessons of many lifetimes, the secrets not only to success but the true meaning of success, then offers them up in compelling, manageable, and memorable short bits, easy to read and inviting to be read time and time again. I do not know Mr. Sandefer but find an immediate common ground in our entrepreneurial careers. I have met Rev. Sirico on several occasions and see in this new book the man I met in person . . . intelligent, concerned, gentle, and joyful. Sirico is also President of the Acton Institute (Grand Rapids, Michigan), the foremost think tank on the integration of faith, economics, and public policy.

After insisting that no one who buys A Field Guide for the Hero’s Journey is likely to be disappointed, then I would encourage them to plan on buying several more copies as gifts for anyone whom they truly love. Putting my money where my mouth is, I have purchased three copies today, having just finished my first reading, for my wife and my two grown children. They are too important to me not to share the principles and themes of this book . . . but I have no intention of one of them wandering off with my copy.

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