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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Martin
  • Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • 06-13-11

A masterpiece - hauntingly prophetic

Eric Metaxas succeeds in bringing to life the overwhelmingly diabolical environment of Hitler's Germany, the unprepared and lax condition of the German Christian community, and the intensely public and pesonal stories of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, disciple of Christ.

To steal a phrase from C.S. Lewis, the pages (or in the case of this audiobook, the sections) of this book fairly rustle with the life contained therein. Metaxis accomplishes a grand slam: acedemic scholarship, literary quality, and masterful storytelling.

At the end of this book, I was compelled to say 'thank you' to a modern day saint and to grieve over the price paid by a father of the faith for the Kingdom of God.

Malcolm Hillgartner's narration of this book is superb.

I already have three of my friends hastily consuming this work so that we can share our common experience.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Prepare to Have Your Life Challenged

I have had Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer moving up in my stack of books to read for just over a year and, well, I should have opened it much sooner. This book about a Lutheran pastor who becomes a part of the Nazi resistance may well affect readers on a number of levels. First, with some reservations, this is a well written biography. It is informative and the reader is engaged in every page. Next, the reader is drawn into theological reflection about the nature of faith and the Christian interpretation of that in particular. These sections will stimulate reflection on the part of readers of all faiths and those rejecting all faith. Finally, I was drawn emotionally into the life and thinking of Bonhoeffer particularly in chapters related to his involvement in the Nazi resistance and ultimate execution. If you don’t want your life and work challenged, pass this biography by. The reading of Malciolm Hilgartner is very good particularly she reading the passages in German..

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Highest recommendation!

The story of Dietrich's Bonhoeffer's life as told in this biography is nothing less than extraordinary. I finished it about a month ago, and it is still profoundly resonating in me. Having the opportunity to dive into this work is like being mentored by one of the most passionate and gentle of pastors and an opportunity to walk along side a saint who has completely and radically sought to live a life in obedience to Christ. For me, it has been pivotal for my faith and discipline.
There are a LOT of details in this book, and I am not sure I would have got through it, if it wasn't an audio book because of them. But in listening, the details just enriched the story rather than burden it. Happy Listening!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Good Biography of a Great Man

This book does a good job of telling the story of an amazing man. The setting in Germany before, during, and after the rise of the Nazis gives a great sense of the foreboding during that time. (It begged the question of "What would I have done during the rise of the Nazis?" This is a question any person truly honest with oneself would ask.) I'm sure that I would not have acted in anyway similar to Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Perhaps reading this book will make us more courageous if we ever face such a dilemma.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Not disappointed. Well written. Malcolm Hillgartner's narration capturing. One of the millions of brilliant , outstanding Christians murdered by the monster of Nazism.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Lessons in Christianity

Is there anything you would change about this book?

There is close to nothing about Bonhoeffer helping to rescue Jews in this book, which makes sense, since according to Yad Veshem, he did not save any Jews.<br/>The book was much too long, and too full of long sermons and correspondence by Bonhoeffer. Since he was saying essentially the same things in his sermons and most of his letters, it became very repetitive and I started to feel like I was in a Sunday School class. It would have been a much better book had it been at least 1/3 shorter.<br/>

What does Malcolm Hillgartner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator was superb.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating story, okay narration

Bonhoeffer is one of the most intriguing people from World War II. He and his co-conspirators were so repulsed and horrified by the Nazis that they risked everything to bring them down. Unlike so many, Bonhoeffer and his family recognized the Nazis for what they were when they first came to power, and they worked in many different ways to oppose them. I was particularly interested in the family and in Dietrich's relationship to them. Theirs was a very close family, and Dietrich's co-conspirators included his brothers-in-law. It's a fascinating story and well worth the time.

There was a good deal of repetition, both from the author and in the quoting of Bonhoeffer's writings; I felt the book would have benefited from better editing. I like Malcolm Hillgartner and have listened to one or two other books he has narrated. With this one, however, he goes overboard on the expression, not letting the writing speak for itself, hitting the pathos and tragedy too hard . . . the book's events and Bonhoeffer's writings are so clear and intense that there is no need for this!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • marylynn
  • ruxton, MD, United States
  • 11-07-11

I am deeply affected

My mood is somber as I complete this book. I rarely write any kind of review beyond a thumbs up or down, but I want so much to talk about this book. The thing that strikes me so much about Dietrich Bonhoeffer is not the tragedy of his death, but the importance of his life. He wasn't so much bold and brave as he was convicted by his faith, his complete trust in God. That he was a key figure in the Nazi resistance and member of one of Germany's academically elite families somehow take the back seat.

Everyone knows what happened during the second World War; the atrocities of Hitler and the Third Reich, but this perspective is absolutely astounding. Hitler truly was the incarnation of evil, in an almost supernatural embodiment. Those who stood up to him were unbelievably courageous and those who lost their lives to his "work" are true martyrs. I'm surprised that Bonhoeffer's story is not more widely known or taught in our historical education.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Stevon
  • Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 06-22-11

the end was the beginning

When I decided to purchase this book I knew it appeared to be intellectual and I knew it might seem long. I was right on both counts but it was still a good listen. It was intellectual and I would guess those more into theology than me would appreciate it more. I liked the idea of listening to a story of a German who saw the rise to power of Hitler and Nazism and stood up for the evil it was unlike most of his countrymen. In that it didn't disappoint. I've always been a bit of a WWII buff and seeing Germany evolve at that time from an inside perspective was the key to me. And, Bonhoeffer truly seemed like a holy man.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Donald
  • Derry, NH, United States
  • 04-15-11

He lived God's Word in the midst of evil.

Eric Metaxas' presentation of Bonhoeffer's life was gripping. I feel I came to know this great man and his family as the history of the German people, and the harshness of the WW-1 reparations leading to the rise of the Nazi's is told, interwoven with Bonhoeffer's story. I have been challenged to not accept cheap grace. I especially admire the Christian habits than made Bonhoeffer great; daily Bible reading and meditation, a quest for truth, and a desire to see others grow in this truth.
I'm amazed at how he chose to leave the safety of the U.S. and U.K. and go back to Germany to do what he could to save the German people and church, and paid the ultimate price.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Charlotte Faint
  • 03-21-15

excellent book

What made the experience of listening to Bonhoeffer the most enjoyable?

'enjoyable'.. but a really easy to listen to book and deeply thought provoking,

Any additional comments?

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.