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Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wheel [Paperback]

By Renate Wind (Author) & John John Bowden (Translator)
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Item description for Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wheel by Renate Wind & John John Bowden...

Vividly and concisely written, critical as well as appreciative, and containing material never before published in English, this new biography paints an unforgettable portrait of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German theologian hanged by the Nazis in 1945.

Publishers Description
Vividly and concisely written, critical as well as appreciative, and containing material never before published in English, this new biography paints a memorable portrait of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German theologian hanged by the Nazis in 1945. Portraying the complexity of Bonhoeffer's personality and the difficult, lonely course his life took, Wind especially brings out Bonhoeffer's early realization of the horror of Nazi treatment of the Jews, and despite misunderstanding by fellow church members, his brave involvement in the resistance against Hitler, his resolve to become "a spoke in the wheel."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wheel by Renate Wind & John John Bowden has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 03/09/1992

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.51"
Weight:   0.59 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 1992
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802806325  
ISBN13  9780802806321  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Inspiration > Motivation > Biography & Autobiography

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Reviews - What do customers think about Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the Wheel?

Short bio on Bonhoeffer  Mar 4, 2007
This was the book I picked up in the bookstore of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC after a tour of the museum and memorial. I wanted to learn more about the German theologian who was one of the most outspoken Protestant Germans to resist the Fuhrer's takeover of Germany and most of Europe.

As other reviewers have stated, this is a short, informative biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. If someone is looking, as I was, for an overview of the main events and themes of his life, this is a good place to start. It is hardly a definitive work, but measures up to being a good starting point.

The author's writing style is somewhat stilted in many places, making the flow jerky and confusing in points. However, the end flows more smoothly and overall, the book gives readers a enough of an overview to where they can go look for other sources that dig deeper.
Easy to understand, thorough biograph  Jan 11, 2007
This biography was easy to read, yet a thorough and complete picture of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life. It high lighted the most esential parts, and quotes, of his life and theology. I truly appreciated it and am sharing it with others.
Great subject, but not well written  Apr 16, 2005
I bought this book while in the middle of Bonhoeffer's "Letters and Papers from Prison". I was looking for a biography that could give me more background. This book was the only reasonably short biography I could find. Bonhoeffer's story is inspirational and he had had a lot of original ideas.

That said, this biography should have been a lot better. First, the the writing is consistently awkward - thanks to frequent literal translation of German phrases and sentences. Secondly, I got the sense that the author's commitment to Marxist/liberation theology was projected onto Bonhoeffer a bit. Some of that thought is certainly in Bonhoeffer's writings, but social gospel was one of many aspects of his theology. Worst of all, the author is just not a skilled biographer. Bonhoeffer grew up in a time of great change (end of the Kaiser-period, WWI, Weimar Republic, rise of Nazis) developed international acclaim as a theologian, was a pillar of the Confessing Church under the Nazis, conspired secretly against Hitler, and died a martyr. If anyone's life was tailor-made for an exciting biography, it was Bonhoeffer. Yet this book reads primarily like a timeline. It's a sorely missed opportunity.

So I gave the book 2 stars for it's brevity and subject matter, but that has to be balanced by shortcomings in the writing/translation.
The Masquerade of Evil  Aug 2, 2000
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke In The Whell, is an excellent book and great biography. This book is a great gift if you want to introduce someone to this life of integrity. The book, translated into English from German, succesfully documents the important aspects of Bonhoeffer's short life: Early chilhood, theology studies, visitation of America, and return to Germany to resist Nazi rule. The book is an easy read and therefore, doesn't over burder the reader who may be introduced to this subject for the first time.

We discover the formatative development of the Confessing Church and the differences many of its members had on how to best oppose the Third Riech. We see Bonhoeffer as the voice of justice in this group as well as a voice of liberity throughout his life. I chose as my title "The Masquerade of Evil" from a chapter in the book because we also see how many citizens in German soceity fall to the evils of Nazism and support its cause. The reader is then moved to a sense of sadness, but vicarious courage, as we live the last years of Bonhoeffer's life in prison. Finally, we read about the death of Bonhoeffer and are moved that a life, so brave, ended so young.


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