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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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  • Overall
  • Homebound
  • Charlotte, NC, United States
  • 02-20-11

Remarkable man

An engrossing and thorough review of the life of a 20th century saint. In addition to the biography of Bonhoeffer, author gives insights into the horrific psyche of the Nazis. A comparison of Bonhoeffer to the Nazis is chilling. Realizing that both he and they were members of the human race beggars the imagination. The author and narrator are both excellent.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Raleigh
  • greensboro, NC, United States
  • 02-09-11

offer that which costs you something

good book about a great man and a great life
metaxas tone is through and detailed and respectful
he does not attempt to undermine or exploit his subject

bonhoeffer's background was frighteningly aloof and academic
at many points in his youth he seemed to hold life at arm's length
the war and nazi politics stripped all of that away

he embraced the opportunity to confront evil head on
the assassination plots seems amateurish in retrospect
his disregard of american seminaries seems spot on

his embrace of the african-american church is perceptive
the book hinges on his decision to return to germany from NYC
he willingly faced almost certain death but saw no other choice

what does it mean to be a christian in the 20th century ?
no man ever answered that question better than bonhoeffer
"... i will not offer that which costs me nothing ..."

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Somewhat heavy on theology but still interesting

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Having Never Heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer...

Wow. Having never heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I was surprised I stumbled into this title. Lists of algorithm-generated recommendations are hit-or-miss at best, yet in this case, I was pleasantly surprised.

I did not foresee agreeing with so many details of Bonhoeffer's theology. The fact that I did continues to please me. Here is a man, born into a world of religious ambiguity, who finds himself compelled toward religious and theological pursuit. In his pursuit, he obtains a Doctorate of Theology before he is 30 years old. He breaks from rhetorical tradition. And he introduces the idea that God is very real rather than merely axiomatic.

This is but the beginning of what the book offers. As far as biographies go, it was well researched, well organized, and well presented. The author has succeeded, as my next thought is to find an English translation of Bonhoeffer's "Ethics".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

incredible, inspiring!

Where does Bonhoeffer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This would be one of the best I have ever listened to - both in terms of content and performance.

What other book might you compare Bonhoeffer to and why?

Long Walk To Freedom - to hear about a truly committed person who is inspiring just by who he was.

Any additional comments?

This is one of the best books I have ever read. I would say this is a must read for anyone who is searching for examples of a life well lived.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Bonhoeffer VS Cheap Grace

What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

Deep voice, but did not make me fall asleep. Was very engaging.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Most of the book moved me, I found myself tearing up or feeling like I could shout encouragement like a cheerleader.

Any additional comments?

A great biography for everyone to have under their belt. And the details are great, unexpected.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcus
  • Brasília, Brazil
  • 02-08-14

An Inspiring History of a Great Man

Eric Metaxas wrote a carefull biography of a man intended to live accordingly with the Bible. His narratives about the events that composed Bonhoofer life allowed the reader to understood the dilemas faced by this man of God. By listened to it, one will have a good account about Bonhoofer's life, family and dificulties. Bonhoofer's life inspired every cristian who desires to live in a significative manner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow... expanding and enlightening

Where does Bonhoeffer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is the second best audible book I have ever listened to. The best would be Team of Rivals. This book has the ability to change you. How does your faith influence your actions? Does your faith play in your lens of how you view your world? It should. If it doesn't, is it really faith?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • Richmond, KY, United States
  • 03-02-13

How petty it makes our personal lives seem today.

Bonhoeffer had everything to live for, His family had all the connections needed to secure him a comfortable life without worry. He chose an education in Theology at age 12, step by step he examines the questions of God, Christ and the Holy Bible from an academics perspective. As he moved through his education and the historical occurrances of Europe (Nazi's and Hitler) you laugh with him and cry as well at the love and conviction he developed along his short but fulfilling life. On a side note if you believe in Christ and have questions due to a number of reasons or if you want perspective to solidify your faith read this now and buy a hard copy for your home library as well. You'll read it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Beth
  • Pearland, TX, United States
  • 03-24-12

Listen to this book!

Where does Bonhoeffer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This may be the best biography I've ever read.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bonhoeffer. (Stupid question.)

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

Animation.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

An examined life, well lived.

Any additional comments?

Reads like an exciting novel -- Against the background of the Nazi rise to power and WW2, Bonhoeffer''s life is gripping and inspiring. Answers the question,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful