Cleverly structured and beautifully written, sparkling with insight and generosity.
Peter Stanford makes the life of Luther into a thrilling narrative, told from a modern Catholic perspective.
Peter Stanford has written a compelling biography of one of the greatest men of the modern age. He is particularly brilliant on the tensions inside Luther's private and spiritual life. This is a very fine biography written with a flourish.
There is a great freshness and clarity here. By entering this complex history through personality as well as dogma, I found myself learning a great deal without ever feeling 'taught'.
A beautifully judged mixture of the personal, the political and the historical, that renders Luther human and admirably accessible. Stanford exhibits exactly the evenhandedness that Luther himself lacked.
An honest but sympathetic portrait of a profoundly complicated and at times contradictory individual, seen in the heated context of his times...Stanford has managed a rare thing: an easy, pleasurable read through difficult concepts and hard choices. Yet he also conveys Luther's most admirable qualities, not least the absence of self-satisfaction and the presence of what the author calls 'sheer, selfless courage'. In his quest to declaim his truth, Martin Luther's constant resting place was discomfort: a lesson in conscience for his times, and for ours.
Stanford - a practising Catholic and the former editor of the Catholic Herald - conveys brilliantly to a secular atheist like me the nature of the internal battle that Luther underwent... what makes this work so valuable is the writer's belief that religion is important and that the relationship of the believer to God requires explanation. I wonder whether an atheist like me would have been half so effective a communicator of Luther's true importance.
Stanford - himself a Catholic - has developed a reputation as a first-class biographer... [he] skilfully traces the course of the Reformation [and] has also gone to great lengths to make Luther's theology accessible. The core part of that theology, he argues rather convincingly, is as relevant today as ever... If you think this is a religious book for religious people, you'd be wrong.
A thoughtful new biography.
It would be easy to portray all these early Protestants as fanatics...Stanford takes a more generous view.
Peter Stanford has a gift for taking theological complexity and running with it. An excellent story-teller with a grasp of the oddities of human judgement.
Readable, tolerant, intelligent...Stanford humanises the 'little monk' once seen as a man full of flaws, but whose courage in standing almost alone against clerical abuse and corruption changed the course of history.
A terrific read.
Peter Stanford's biography skilfully guides readers through the events of Luther's life ... this is a compelling and well-written account.
Peter Stanford deserves to have his route to heaven eased not by indulgences, but by virtue of the fact that he is so tremendously entertaining.
Peter Stanford's excellent new biography of Martin Luther, though it tells a familiar story, brings a fresh interpretation.
The narrative is vivid and energetic, enlivened by journalistic turns of phrase and flashes of empathy and imagination... not only engaging and informative, but also eminently readable.
Stanford works hard to capture the inner Luther and his account of the first stirrings of what would come to be known as Protestantism is also impressive.
A brilliant new biography of the theological firebrand Martin Luther...I was gripped by Stanford's description of the profound physical, mental and spiritual torment that Luther endured in his wrestlings with his own faith.
Compelling and highly readable.
This biography is accessible and lively, while always taking the theological points Luther hammered home with the utmost seriousness. [Stanford] is excellent at locating Luther in the European politics of the early 16th century.
Accessible and lively while always taking the theological points Luther hammered home with the utmost seriousness.
Stanford is an excellent writer able to explain theology and present it as exciting and vibrant.
A compelling biography... Stanford has a lively, engaging style that draws readers into his subject.
This comprehensive biography... is a compelling and informative read.