From the New York Times bestselling author of Amazing Grace, this is a groundbreaking biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century, the man who stood up to Hitler. A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism.
After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer and was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.
Bonhoeffer presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the twentieth century and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.
©2010 Eric Metaxas (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“In Hitler's Germany, a Lutheran pastor chooses resistance and pays with his life…Eric Metaxas tells Bonhoeffer’s story with passion and theological sophistication.” (Wall Street Journal)
“A passionate narrative voice combines with meticulous research…Insightful and illuminating, this tome makes a powerful contribution to biography, history, and theology.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Metaxas presents a complete, accessible picture of this important figure, whose story is inspiring, instructive, and international in scope.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Wow, I really wish I would have listened/read this earlier. Powerful and thought provoking. I can't recommend this enough. A reminder of the evil of Hitler and the power of faith and action even in the darkest of times.
We don't often hear the stories of Germans who opposed the Nazis, and this book describes the heroic and often tragic efforts by those Germans who DID see the evils Hitler was bringing in, and tried desperately to stop him. Lessons and people very worthy of remembering.
Having grown up mostly hearing the history of WWII from the English perspective, I'm only recently learning more details of the brave Germans who tried from within to resist and overthrow the Nazis.
During the war Churchill deliberately chose to ignore their efforts and paint all Germans as evil Nazis for propaganda reasons, and to some extent that's the image that prevails to this day. But there were Germans horrified by what was happening, there were several assassination attempts from within, and many good people and their families were tortured and executed in retaliation when these failed. The Bonhoeffer family was one of those heavily involved in the resistance, and the youngest son Dietrich was especially prescient about the evils to come. Through this biography of Dietrich the author paints a picture of the situation in Germany for those horrified by Hitler's actions, and lays out the failures and frustrations of the resistance.
Bonhoeffer was a pastor and theologian so this biography is fairly heavy on the aspects of his faith, but not in a way that detracts from the story. Whether you share Bonhoeffer's faith or not, his dedication to it is clearly admirable and his faith led him very clearly to see before most how wrong the Nazis were and how much worse it would get if not stopped. He worked tirelessly to get German Christians to denounce the Nazi version of "Christianity", spread the word of what was really happening through his church contacts in England, and supported the plot to kill Hitler. He was clearly a remarkable thinker and man of faith, and through his writings and letters this biography reveals both the man himself and the circumstances and tragedies of his life.
teacher, mother, wife, friend
This is a deep dive into the church/intellectual history of the time between the wars. It combines one man's ethical and religious introspection with the mirror of the political blooming of the evils of Naziism. He is challenged at every turn. This is a picture of what it was like for one individual to face an authoritarian regime. It is an amazing and riveting story.
It is a story of one man, really. He is a religious leader during a time when so many people were compromised, confused and intimidated. He stayed true and paid the ultimate price.
When he is imprisoned, he makes his peace with death, and knows that he has not compromised himself, and so he accepts that he has served God. He is able to live in peace and accept his fate. It is tragic that he was executed just before the liberation.
I watched a Spanish mini-series called: A Time Between, just after reading this, which occurs during the same timeframe in Morocco and Madrid. It is about resistance to the Nazis in that context. It was a good companion film for this book.
Also, the politics in the world today of fear of immigrants and hate mongering reverberates for me. We need to educate ourselves about what can happen when we allow the politics of hatred to overwhelm the rule of law and basic human compassion and love.
A life-and-death battle of good versus evil -- how can it be boring? And yet it is.
Metaxas's narrative is jumbled and disjointed. It's hard to follow the overall story because he keeps jumping around and introducing details that are irrelevant to the matter at hand.
Hilgartner's bumbling narration does not help. Hilgartner is a typical Audible.com narrator: He has a fantastic radio voice and nice diction for individual words, but almost no sense of story. The narrator's mind appears to have wandered off. He reads each sentence like it is a pronunciation exercise. Hilgartner is a talented reader of words and sentences, but shows little interest in reading paragraphs or chapters. He tries to make each individual sentence sound dramatic, but that's not how prose works, neither in fiction nor in non-fiction. When every sentence is read with an elevated sense of drama, then all the sentences sound the same, and the reader's emotional pitches lose their force. The reading becomes dull.
Bonhoeffer's story should be fascinating and captivating and inspiring. But each time I listen to this audiobook, my mind wanders off. I really want to learn about this guy Bonhoeffer, but this audiobook is a slog.
haunter of libraries
Good narration, inspiring person. The fact that he had a such a good attitude makes most of us look pretty petty.
This book takes its place in the library of my personal favorites. I intend to listen to this audio again and again as I desire to make part of my own character the strength and conviction of being that was Dietrich Bonhoeffer!
"Inspiring humbling history, from the other side!"
Having never considered the possibility of Christianity existing in the country which produced the Nazi regime and Hitler, I was totally amazed at this magnificent biography. I was humbled to hear the grief expressed by a German Christian at the horror of Auschwitz, and the virtual annihilation (or attempted), of Jews, Gypsies, disabled people, and many another minority groups. I had, to my disgust, assumed that all Germans were similar to Hitler, in their thoughts, beliefs, and general demeanour. How wrong I was! I suppose because I come from a generation whose parents were affected by the second world war – their parents either fighting against 'the Germans' physically, or widowed because of the war. Because of never studying history from an unbiased perspective, I am ignorant. I am very much aware of the difference between those of Nazi-mentality, many of whom exist today, and those German Christians, many I'm sure exist to this day. I'm very grateful for having my eyes opened. One should never ASSUME anything! Praise the Lord!
"Inspiration for the discerning reader"
This biography has come under various degrees of criticism from scholars who accuse Metaxas of hijacking Bonhoeffer for the evangelical cause. They no doubt have a point, but then every side has wanted to claim this remarkable, courageous, ambiguous man as their own. As a card-carrying evangelical I tried to listen with discernment, but nevertheless emerged with a deep sense of gratitude for the life of such an astonishing and inspirational individual. Metaxas is a superb writer, and I found the narration to be excellent. Whatever quibbles one might have about how the author interprets some of the details of Bonhoeffers life and theology, only the hardest heart will fail to be moved by this wonderfully told account.
"Well worth the 20 hours of listening"
A thorough and detailed look at the life, faith and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
An inspirational man who's life is a challenge to us all.
Excellent, thoroughly enjoyed. Long but necessarily so, to do justice to Bonhoeffer and his remarkable and challenging story.
Narration very pleasant and easy to listen to.
"This story is extraordinary"
This book is detailed and reveals a though telling of Bonhoeffer's life and theology. It is challenging and a worthwhile read.
'enjoyable'.. but a really easy to listen to book and deeply thought provoking,
if you want an insight into the war and Bonhoeffer - excellent, easy and very difficult to read at the same time. Wasn't graphically horrible, but you get the gist.
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