Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Raising the Dead

Publisher's Summary. On October 20, 2006, a middle-aged auto mechanic, Jeff Markin, walked into the emergency room at the Palm Beach Gardens Hospital and collapsed from a massive heart attack. Forty minutes later he was declared dead. After filling out his final report, the supervising cardiologist, Dr. Chauncey Crandall, started out of the room. "Before I crossed its threshold, however, I sensed God was telling me to turn around and pray for the patient," Crandall explained. With that prayer and Dr. Crandall's instruction to give the man what seemed one more useless shock from the defibrillator, Jeff Markin came back to life--and remains alive and well today.

But how did a Yale-educated cardiologist whose Palm Beach practice includes some of the most powerful people in American society, including several billionaires, come to believe in supernatural healing?The answers to these questions compose a story and a spiritual journey that transformed Chauncey Crandall.

Review. According to author-cardiologist, Dr. Chauncey Crandall, IV, in Raising the Dead, on October 20, 2006, he successfully revived a deceased cardiac arrest patient; the patient had been declared dead after 40 minutes of unsuccessful efforts by emergency medical personnel. Shortly after 8:05 a.m, when the Code ended and the patient declared dead, Crandall drafted and completed the patient’s “final assessment.” Before exiting the room Crandall strongly sensed that God wanted him to pray for the patient. A somewhat embarrassed Crandall uttered a prayer and then ordered the ER doctor to “shock this man one more time.” Reluctantly, the ER physician complied with the request. And then a miracle occurred. The patient’s heart restarted with a near perfect heartbeat of seventy five per minute. According to Crandall, the patient went on to make a full recovery! Amazing!

As incredible as the above true story is most of the memoir concerns Crandall’s conversion and immersion into evangelical Christianity. As the publisher’s blurb notes:

As dramatic as this story is [the narrative above] Raising the Dead is far more than a collection of miracle stories. It is the riveting account of how a Yale-educated cardiologist . . . came to believe in supernatural healing. And how he faced painful struggles against disease in his own life and most dramatically within his own family.

This is an accurate characterization as very little of the book is about the about the cardiac patient’s revival. Rather it is primarily about the Crandall family’s struggle with their son’s leukemia diagnosis. The Crandalls decide to treat their son with both conventional medicine and evangelical healing. The memoir also extensively details Crandall’s religious beliefs. For example, at one point Crandall throws away a fertility statute because he believes that the pagan symbol is responsible for his wife’s then-infertility. While I do not doubt the sincerity of Crandall’s beliefs, I misunderstood the book’s topic (believing it to be primarily about the medical revival not evangelical Christianity).

I would recommend Raising the Dead primarily for readers who wish to read an evangelical Christian memoir.

Publisher: FaithWords; 1st edition (September 16, 2010), 224 pages.
Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.


  1. The cover alone would make me think it's more a medical miracles type of book but I can see how it would become more of a memoir of religious conversion. Thanks for your review.

  2. The publisher's blurb doesn't really do a good job of telling what the book is actually about. I do like Christan memoirs occasionally, but I think this is one I'll skip.

  3. Thanks for the review - I don't think this book is for me.

  4. Not a book for me, but I do like reading different kinds of reviews :)