What makes a great man great?
Seven Men offers answers in the captivating stories of some of the greatest men who have ever lived. In this gallery of greatness, seven historical figures come to life as real people who experienced struggles and challenges that probably would have destroyed the resolve of most other men. What was their secret?
How did George Washington resist the temptation to become the first king of America, and why did William Wilberforce give up the chance to be prime minister of England? What made Eric Liddell cast aside an almost certain Olympic gold medal? What enabled Jackie Robinson to surrender his right to fight back against racists, or Dietrich Bonhoeffer to jeopardize his freedom and safety to defy the Nazis? What gave John Paul II the ability to identify with the most helpless members of human society and even to forgive the man who tried to murder him? And why would Chuck Colson volunteer to go to prison when he didn’t have to? The seven men in this compelling volume evince one particular quality: that of surrendering themselves to a higher purpose, of giving something away that they might have kept.
Having heroes and role models was always tremendously important for society, but in the last few decades this has changed, with seriously troubling results. Eric Metaxas says it’s time to reverse the trend. With vitality and warmth, the New York Times best-selling author restores to the listener a sense of the heroic - the idea that certain lives are worthy of emulation. Get to know these seven men, and your life will be immeasurably richer.
©2013 Eric Metaxas (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Metaxas' fine books on Bonhoeffer (my personal hero) and William Wilberforce, two men who really need to be known by just everyone. This book includes mini-biographies of seven great men, including these two, men who sacrificed personal grandeur and power for the greater good. This book is like an hor dorvers tray which should whet your appetite for more on all of these seven figures in history. Certainly do read Metaxas' books on Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce. If you have not come across them before, you will wonder that you hadn't heard of such forceful figures in the history of the world. (The two or three reviews here that scream about RELIGION! as though it were social kriptonite illustrate the exact reason why our society needs to know about great men like those in this book--sacrificing oneself for a great cause, and forbid! a religious one--is now considered stupid and passe. That is a sad truth about what we have become.)
Inspiring. Narration was excellent. I usually listen on 1.5 speed, and it was still expressive and clear.
Metaxas writes well.
This book allows you to review the lifes of 7 great men. That each man added great value to life in the way they lived their lives. It makes you really think.
This book allows you to review the lifes of each of these men by reaching out to other books either written by them or about them. Eric picked 7 great man. Two thumbs up for selecting these 7 men.
It was great to hear the lives of Jackie Robinsion, Pope John Paul II, Chuck Colson, etc.
Jackie Robinsion & Chuck Colson were great additional men that gave me a review of them that I did not realize.
Very enjoyable book. Highly recommend this book.
Christian, middle-school teacher, horse lover and rider, grandmother, love America, hate getting old, pretty good cook.
No, I always consider the print version to be the best!
No, but I really liked this one.
I did want to listen to as much as possible at every sitting.
I bought 3 hard copies of this book after listening to it. I gave them to family members. All agreed that this was an excellent book. The stories of the 7 men are long enough to give in depth details, but short enough that you want to know more about each person. George Washington and the Pope were fascinating.
While I enjoyed Eric's other books, it was nice to have this concise addition of seven of the world's greatest Christian leaders. I enjoyed the book very much.￼
I will often read encapsulated biographies as they give me a quick snapshot of a great number of people, and then I can choose the ones that peek my interest and go and find a full length tome I can dive into. While these fast-developing Polaroids of seven men are well written, they have a significantly religious bent which was not clear from the title, subtitle or publisher's brief. (In hindsight it does seem obvious) And while it could have been be a coincidence that all subjects herein were devoutly Christian, it feels like it is just the author's opinion that these men achieved greatness for that very reason.
Secrets to one's success stories are seductive enough to have plays and movies made out of them; and one tends to gravitate toward them, I would suggest, to bolster one's own path in life, provide much needed inspiration or to ease one's frustrations. We will often use these stories as a measuring stick or a mirror of one's own achievements, especially in rags-to-riches type genres or other Dickensian themes. And people without the dental deformities from silver spoons will often use them as excuses. But to have the reason for success be God, leaves an acidic taste in the mouths of those of us who's relationship with the Almighty is either tenuous, nonexistent or reviled.
I have not read lengthy biographies (auto or otherwise) of these men, but due to the author proselytizing and sermonizing at length (and off topic) it feels as if the reason for their greatness comes not from recorded evidence, or the subjects themselves, but instead from the author injecting his own faith to explain it away. Evidence may very well exist, even in the subject's own hand, but describing events that no one could have possibly seen or known about, combined with the end of chapter sermons, leaves one wondering what other liberties have been taken. I'm sure if I had known of this author beforehand I would have expected what I got.
Given the author's excellent research habits (discovered in later and further investigations), I am now sure that indeed the subjects of these articles would agree with him. But it just doesn't feel that way when one is reading. And that's odd, because I don't tend to question other biographers' facts who supply much less in the way of a bibliography. Is it purely because the Secret Sauce in these cases turned out to be Holy water?
To a practicing Christian these overt statements and God-induced cause-and-effects may not stand out as excessive, but this is the first biography collection I have read that had me squirming.
That being said, if you either don't mind, celebrate, or can get past these themes, the book does open interesting new windows on familiar figures we all thought we knew, and on a few figures upon whom light does not often shine or who have been forgotten. (For one figure however, the term "Great" perhaps should be switched to "criminal" - it is, mercifully, the shortest chapter of the lot, but an odd choice to be included).
To the faithful, the book will undoubtedly offer inspiration but for those who shut the curtains and ignore the doorbell when the evangelists come calling in the neighborhood, it might all be too much.
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