trying to see the world with my ears
This is a great listen for the social history detail of the period and also for following the development of a courageous man's thinking about moral issues: To arrive at nonviolence as a personal philosphy, and yet face circumstances where involvement in a violent plot is the "last resort" solution to a desperate situation becomes a moral choice! For me, Bonhoeffer is the great the icon of the 20th century, with all its moral dilemmas, and this bio does him justice. It also helps in understanding how otherwise good people -- so many of Bonhoeffer's fellow citizens -- slide into and rationalize immoral choices.
I hesistated to download this because I had found Metaxas' Amazing Grace to be a bit rambling and the tone a bit odd, but Bonhoeffer is both a stronger bio and is better narrated.
I'm an adult high school history teacher, and I am always amazed that most students (even those who know great detail of WWII battles etc.) have NEVER heard of Bonhoeffer. I hope this book and the deserved publicity it is getting change that. Nevermind Valhalla - Bonhoeffer's story deserves a Hollywood film all its own.
I heard Manning speak at a Franciscan youth conference in the mid 1970s-- His message and delivery were technically brilliant, but completely undone by his obvious hung-over state; he was completely inauthentic to my then young ears at a time when I was looking for excuses to turn away from faith. A dozen years later I came across his small but powerful, "Jesus, Stranger to Self Hatred." Out of about 3000 books encountered in my life, it has to be in my top ten for its effect on me.
In many ways I disagree with Manning's theology, he repeated himself in too many books, and his prose can be pompously ragamuffin too -- but he communicates his utter confidence in the unconditional love of God so strongly that none of that matters. Maurice England narrates the memoir well, but I wish Manning could have spoken this, his final book. For me "All Is Grace" serves as closure to that despised performance I witnessed 40 years ago. God writes straight on many hearts through the crooked lines of Manning's life. This four hours is well worth listening, as the man who has described himself as "shipwrecked at the stable" sketches some of those lines.
I feared that this would be overly sentimental and pious, but it is a good bio, using many primary sources. And it is Davidman's bio, not that of Mrs. C.S. Lewis. Although touted as the story behind the movie Shadowlands, it's much more comprehensive; in the intro to a second edition, the author clarifies a couple of fictions in that movie.
The bio is written with obvious fondness for Davidman and well-narrated by Reading. The book makes a good companion to Alan Jacobs' brief bio of C.S. Lewis, The Narnian, in which a slightly different interpretation is given to some of Davidson's relationship with Lewis.
I like history, non fiction and fantasy genres. Favorite authors (so far): Robert Jordan, Ken Follett, George Martin, Gregory Roberts, Khaled Hoseini, Ayn Rand
M.K Gandhi revolutionized the Indian independence struggle, but this book is more about what made his principles and personal beliefs. Most of the book is about his struggles as a kid and his profession as a lawyer. The three quarter of the book is about his journey back and forth to South Africa and his struggle to get rights and fight against inequality for Indians in South Africa. Indian independence is just the last 5 hours or so of the book. The most striking thing which I ever knew about Gandhi was his personal life and his diet which is very well described in the book.
Finally a word for the narrator. I wish the narrator had a better control over the hindi names and words. He would pronounce certain words and I would think for few minutes until I made the link with what actually he meant. He would pronounce 'mussalman' (people who follow Islam) as musclemen, which would sound ridiculous in the context.
Overall a must read for anyone who is interested in world politics and history. A great political and historical figure who has inspired many freedom fighters and an epitome of humility.