If you enjoy, as I do, the stories and personalities behind the great hymns of the faith, then this book is for you. Houghton takes a slightly different approach than most books on this subject — focusing on the hymn-writers themselves rather than on specific hymns. The result is an introduction to fifty individuals who have had great impact on our hymnology. Some personalities are universally known, such as: Martin Luther, Isaac Watts, John and Charles Wesley, John Newton, and Fanny Crosby. Others are unfamiliar to most, yet their stories are well worth reading. Perhaps the only real drawback to the book is the lack of attention to more recent hymn-writers — only four having lived in any portion of the twentieth century. But overall Houghton has written an inspiring and valuable book.