It will depend on what you already know about these seven gentlemen. The book is set up as basically seven mini biographies of seven of Metaxas' heroes. I had read a Chernow's biography on Washington and Metaxas' other book on Bonhoefffer, but knew little about the other figures. The book is intended to spark interest in each man leading you to read either more comprehensive biographies by other authors or read the works by the subjects themselves. Overall I thought it was well done and served the purpose that Metaxas set out to achieve. I would certainly recommend it to anybody who wants the "Readers Digest" version of these men's lives.
An exceptional book about the life of an extraordinary man. This book was recommended to me by my father who is a Christian and theologian himself. He regards Bonhoeffer as one of the premier theologians of the 20th century. The book appealed to me on many levels. I have become more interested in Christian “thinkers” (C.S. Lewis, etc) as I have grown up and I very much enjoy history—especially related to World War II. Obviously this book is both!
I walked away from this book thinking that Bonhoeffer was truly a living saint for the short time he was alive. The effect that this man had on everyone who crossed is path was quite remarkable—often including his jailers and those who were persecuting him.
Today you could probably not find a single World War II era German who would ever acknowledge support for Hitler and the National Socialist/Nazi movement; however somehow they and Hitler managed to rise to power right under all of Germany’s noses. Germans such as Bonhoeffer showed extreme courage in their consistent resistance against the Nazis and their horrific treatment of the Jews and others. Bonhoeffer likely knew he would pay for it with his life (which he did), but through it all his faith in Christ and his faith in what was right never waivered. God bless this man.
I would not be truthful if I did not say this book has changed my life. Bonhoeffer was a Christian pastor who put his life on the line in standing up for Christ in the face of Nazi Germany as part of the resistance movement. Well, he paid for it with his life, as he was destroyed (physically) just days before the war was over. He was valiant and heroic. I can only hope I would be able to be so valiant in the same situation.
I learned so much about just exactly how Hitler was able to fool all of the people some of the time, enough of the time to come into power. I was almost overcome with disbelief as I learned things I had never even heard of before. And the really scary part is that in this land of liberty of ours, we have started down that same path. It takes my breath away.
This book did not dwell on the Nazi atrocities, but it did go into a little detail near the end of the book. At that point, I could not control my emotions, as I sobbed for the innocent people who were slain by these butchers, and prayed that the Lord in his tender mercies, had taken from them the sting of death. I have to believe that he did.
The question that I am left with: How is it we humans can treat one another in such an inhumane way? That is always the question. How do some people get the idea that they have the right to dictate to other people how they should be allowed to live their lives, or IF they should be allowed to live.
I am very interested in learning more about Hitler's rise to power, partly in the hope that perhaps something can be done to see that this sort of thing never happens here! I believe we are dangerously naive if we believe it never could.