THE LIFE AND DEATH OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER by Mary Bosanquet

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author first heard of the late German Protestant theologian and martyr when her husband studied at Oxford under the husband of Bonhoeffer's twin sister. The interest then incited grew through the years and now results in this biography of the man whom the Nazis executed only days, if not hours, before he might have been saved by American forces. She draws heavily upon the Bonhoeffer materials collected by his friend, Dr. Eberhard Bethge, and her biography anticipates the expected appearance in English of Bethge's substantial work. The particular contribution of this book to the growing literature about Bonhoeffer will be found in the picture it gives of the family matrix in which its subject grew up. Rich in affections, liberal in outlook, deeply but also realistically pious, the Bonhoeffer family represented the best of German bourgeois tradition. Almost a third of the volume is given to these early years of Bonhoeffer's life. The remainder narrates the subsequent events of his career, against a succinct but lucid account of events in Europe and Germany leading up to the rise of Nazism and the Second World War. Achieved is a biography focusing on Bonhoeffer as a person, rather than a critical study of his theological work. For readers wishing to know the man in some depth, this book will provide illuminating and at times exciting reading.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1969
Publisher: Harper & Row