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Publisher's Summary

At the beginning of the 16th century, a religious revolution shattered the outward appearance of conformity among Europe's Roman Catholics...a conformity that had been the basis of Western European unity for over a thousand years. Why did it happen? In this brilliant history, Professor Mosse exposes the crisis of the Papacy in preceeding centuries and shows how the need for reform was continually being delayed until it was simply too late. When Martin Luther took his stand at Worms, he lit a fuse that would ultimately ignite a series of tumultuous political and social revolutions all across northern Europe. Peace would not come for over one hundred years.

But Luther was not alone. This narration will introduce you to many other equally important leaders of the Reformation, men like Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss firebrand who Luther did not trust; and Martin Bucer of Strassbourg, whose belief in predestination was to influence the most charismatic man of the Reformation: John Calvin of France. What made these brilliant men tick? How were they able to persuade so many people to follow them? And what was the reaction of the Catholic hierarchy? These and many other questions are answered in this brief but powerfully written history of the chaotic period of religious uncertainty and strife that would ultimately lead to the complete reinvention of the modern nation state. The Reformation was a period of great mental torment and intellectual vigor, and its effect on Europeans of both Catholic and Protestant faiths has been incalculable.

©2005 Audio Connoisseur

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  • Overall

Interesting, Concise, Fair ? A good introduction.

Having taken several courses on Church History, this title was of great interest to me. I found it to be a fair treatment of all the parties involved in the Reformation. This book helped me to better understand the political, social and economic issues at stake in the Reformation, while not neglecting the central theological & ethical concerns of the reformers.

This title is best suited for those interested in Church History (both Catholic & Protestant). If one is not so inclined then even this brief treatment will prove overwhelming.

The narration is excellent and easy to follow despite some weighty historical details. The main limitation is related only to the audio format. It would have helped me to review the important dates and names at the end of each chapter. But this is no flaw of the production only the limitations of the media. Reviewed by Tony Kummer.

86 of 89 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Great Study Aid for History Majors

Mr. Griffin has done a nice job of reading the book. I’m a graduate student in history and I find that the book helps solidify what is covered in class. I listen to it in the car while going to and from college. The narrator speaks clearly and the pace is very even. Sometimes, when the author makes a direct quote, he reads the passage and gives the voice a reverb sound. This, as well as the background music at different times makes the listening experience more enjoyable. I checked out other recordings of the narrator on Audible and was pleased to find that they are on other historical topics. There is probably a recording that deals with almost any type of history class – from Classical Greece and Rome, to Medieval Europe, to The French Revolution. I am happy to come across this goldmine because it helps me in my learning as a student.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Need to Read it Again

This was a lot of information to absorb all at once.

I am interested in the subject, and have a “high level” understanding of the main points, but I wanted to learn about the Reformation in more detail. With a zillion book options to choose from, I picked this one because it was short.

I learned a lot – like just how much Switzerland was involved – but a lot of it went “in one ear and out the other” because I felt saturated with facts.

I want to read it again, but in short batches. A few paragraphs at a time so that the information sinks in properly!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Scott
  • Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • 10-31-06

Not what I was hoping for

The author assumes that the listener is already familiar with many of the people and events that surround the reformation. Also, I find the reader's pompous style to be very hard listening. Overall it feels like I am listening to a professorial dissertation rather than explanation designed for those who know little about this topic.

5 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Boring, pompous

I found this to be very uniformative. I walked away with little understanding of the root causes and events that transpired.
The reader's tone (british accent) was a bit pompous.
This book might be more suited for a disseration student (in history or religion), but not for the average person with little pre-existing knowledge of the subject.

5 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Noel
  • 07-09-08


Why do non-fiction books like this have to be read in such a boring way. It's not that the subject matter is boring, the reformation was a particularly interesting time in history, but it just always appears flat. I have to admit I've never finished listening to this book because I just kept falling asleep! Pity

0 of 1 people found this review helpful