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Publisher's Summary

Amazing Grace tells the story of the remarkable life of the British abolitionist William Wilberforce (1759-1833). This accessible biography chronicles Wilberforce's extraordinary role as a human rights activist, cultural reformer, and member of Parliament.

At the center of this heroic life was a passionate 20-year fight to abolish the British slave trade, a battle Wilberforce won in 1807, as well as efforts to abolish slavery itself in the British colonies, a victory achieved just three days before his death in 1833.

Metaxas discovers in this unsung hero a man of whom it can truly be said, "He changed the world." Before Wilberforce, few thought slavery was wrong. After Wilberforce, most societies in the world came to see it as a great moral wrong.

This account of Wilberforce's life will help many to become acquainted with an exceptional man who was a hero to Abraham Lincoln and an inspiration to the anti-slavery movement in America.

©2007 Eric Metaxas; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    47
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Marvelous Story Gloriously Told

The worst criticism one is likely to encounter in regard to this biography of William Wilberforce is the same as came later for Metaxas' biography of Bonhoeffer, namely, that he lapses into hero worship in the telling of the tale, but one might ask how the extraordinary stories of the lives of two such remarkable men could be told without it. In fact, we do not write biographies of ordinary men and women but extraordinary ones, and so accusing a biographer of writing with abundant admiration of William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer is like accusing a biographer of Adolph Hitler of not showed a "better side" of the most notorious dictator in history. In the end, we write our own biographies with our deeds--if, in the end, these inspire praise and adulation rather than scorn and censure, all the better.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Wesley
  • Burnt Hills, NY, USA
  • 05-20-07

Very Interesting

This is a fascinating book about a man that is seldom mentioned in history texts but contributed a great deal to the world. The book gets off to a slow start, the first hour or so devoted to praising Wilberforce before getting on with the story of his life. Nonetheless, I highly recommend this book!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 06-08-08

uneven, but still merits 5 stars

As others mention, the book seems far from objective and the reader is a bit too ...enthusiastic? and also too... modern? in tone (I can't quite put my finger on the words). But what a story! What a man! (even if the portrait is less than neutral). And what great details and anecdotes of the times. It's an all round 5 star listen to me, despite the flaws.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing Grace and AMAZING vocabulary

This book tells the story of William Wilberforce in detail from birth to death. Along the way you will read about his efforts to outlaw the slave trade and, ultimately, to emancipate the slaves throughout the British possessions. However the author seems to have taken delight in finding the biggest words (or should I say, the most 'erudite' ones) to express even simple ideas. Unless you have a large vocabulary, you will find it confusing and, even if you do, you may find it annoying as if he kept searching in a thesaurus for a less common word. I gave it five stars because it really IS well written despite what seems like an unnecessary display of verbal ability. On the positive side, I came away with a great appreciation for Wilberforce, himself and I hope you will too.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeneva
  • Auburn, NE, USA
  • 03-05-09

Terrific Read

I learned a lot from this book, both about the British history of slavery and abolition, but also many illuminating details of the era itself. Previous reviews commented on the author's obvious religious bias, but it didn't impact the historical value, and his writing style was delightful.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful Historical Account

This was a great biography of an incredible individual who helped define what the modern western civilization is. Every detail mentioned is relevant to the overall arc of Wilburforce's life. The narration is simple and is an easy listen. Really Loved this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Incredible Story of Forgotten Hero

The story of William Wilberforce should be told in every school around the world. He was the driving force behind the abolition of the slave trade to the British colonies as a means to his ultimate goal of the emancipation of all slaves. But Wilberforce's story is deeper than one act, as if not enough. Metaxas asserts that Wilberforce, because of his personal experience of the forgiving, saving and healing Christ, seemed to give the British people a conscience by his work to start/support charities helping many people groups in need. I was impressed by the courage it took Wilberforce to stand against major business interests, friends, and even family for the sake of honoring his own conscience and the God created rights of his fellow man. Incredible story and one I can't wait to share with my friends and children.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marie
  • WASHINGTON, DC, United States
  • 03-26-10

Couldn't stop listening

In the beginning Johnny Heller seems to be rushing through the book and the hurried voice is a bit annoying. But you get interested in the story of Wilberforce and I found myself struggling to stop listening for things like sleep and work. After listening, I want to get a hard copy of the book to share aspects of the book with friends. Regarding the storytelling, it is very Christian and not a secular bio.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good Primer

A good primer on Wilberforce. Strong prose from and good subject treatment from Metaxas, as always. Performance was ok-he mispronounced a bunch of words and his pacing was mismatched with the text at times. Overall, though, this book is worth your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Life changing History!

Life changing History. I will listen to this again and again for inspiration. He is a true HERO!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful