The name "William Wilberforce" comes up a lot in evangelical circles these days, and David Vaughan's Statesman and Saint: The Principled Politics of Wilberforce (Highland Books) is a quick way for Americans to learn about the British evangelical member of Parliament whose courage and fortitude led to an end of the slave trade and slavery in the British Empire. In brief, Wilberforce gave up a life of personal peace and affluence upon his conversion to the Christian faith at 25. Some historians think he also gave up a clear shot at becoming prime minister to devote his attention to freeing the slaves. Loosely affiliated with the Tory Party, Wilberforce functioned as an independent and-because he offered a voice of conscience in Parliament-became more influential than prime ministers. Wilberforce persevered on behalf of the slaves until they gained their freedom just as he was dying in 1833. A cynical age that does not appreciate heroes could have a hard time understanding Wilberforce; Mr. Vaughan's book will help.