This story of Bonhoeffer's life is an important biography of a devoted Christian. It tells about his faith life without very much context of his actual theological teaching and thinking. It details his commitment to his family, his fiance, his students and his calling to resist Hitler. Such a shame that he was killed. He had much more to offer.
Bonhoeffer was a musician, a theologian, a linguist, and in all this and more, courageous and a man of integrity. He was, and is, an example for all time.
Bonhoeffer's time in America included time spent with a black friend who took him to black churches and exposed him to black culture and spiritual life. His experiences were life enriching and provided perspective on the antisemitism as it began to increase back in Germany.
The narrator's delivery of different accents and emphasis added depth and perspective.
It's a long book which occupied a great deal of driving time which would have otherwise been lacking in such meaning and inspiratiion.
Bonhoeffer's life has long been admired, but the depth of research and organization behind this biography was the best ever.
I knew the outlines of Bonhoeffer's story, and had read a couple of his shorter works. I was unprepared for how entirely his story would consume me. This is the rare book that teaches, inspires, moves one to prayer. Highest possible recommendation.
Because bad Germans abound, it's refreshing to hear a story about a "good German" from WWII and many others like them. This story makes it clear why it was difficult to mount an effective opposition to Hitler, both for practical and cultural reasons, and how little help (perhaps understandably) the Allies were.
A significant portion of German Christians tried to take up for the Jews, and this pastor led the way, including being willing to participate in a murder plot against Hitler. However a combination of the sudden power grab and very effective propaganda, mixed with the long-standing cultural requirement to "stay in line", "behave sensibly", and "trust your leaders", caused them to wait way too long. It's also interesting that Bonhoeffer takes more inspiration from the African-American church in the struggle, rather than the white "progressive" church, both of which he encountered in prewar NYC.
The performance was the weakest part of the book. The english speaking portion was fine, but the German pronunciation was very poor and distracted greatly. If you don't speak German, however, you'll never notice.
The story demands personal consideration and response as the life of Bonhoeffer and the challenges he faced unroll plainly through the text.
I don't know if I'd say that there's much of a difference...I switched between the two and didn't notice a big difference in experience. Hillgartner is a capable reader and kept everything moving without being overly dramatic.
Bonhoeffer's life and experience is useful to everyone, especially in the midst of trial and oppression. Excellent life/case study.
I have not.
Bonhoeffer is a man that will inspire anyone who reads about him to be a better person. He is a George Washington type being. One can only wish to have the conviction and honor he had
increasingly lost in free speech
I have and would recommend this to all students of history, and those who want to understand the need to rebut corrupt practices within their own governments.
I really enjoy his ability to bring out the characters in the book.
It made me cry at the injustice, the acts of cruelty and the unnecessary war that was fought.
Great opportunity for learning and seeing how not responding gives power to the morally depraved.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the most overlooked individuals of the 20th century. It is very rare to find such a gifted theologian who puts his belief system into practice and actually ends up making the ultimate sacrifice for it. Bonhoeffer was such a man. Having found asylum, a future, and security in America, he returned to Germany to support his people and plot to remove Hitler. He was tragically executed at Hitler's command weeks before the fall of the 3rd Reich.
This story details the extraordinary events surrounding Dietrich's life while going to great lengths to paint a colorful picture of his ethos and personality through a series of stories. It is awakening and reorienting when considering who we deem to be the heroes of WW2 (Churchill, Roosevelt etc..) when we learn that these men and many more would not even speak to Bonhoeffer and the German resistance because their war efforts and propaganda campaigns depended on their people believing that all Germans were inherently evil and that "the only good German is a dead German."
Unfortunately, the narration is not befitting of such an epic biography. Monotone delivery with minimal modulation and I found my mind often drifted to other agendas of the day. For this reason, I would recommend that this book be read and not listened to.