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Out Of The Storm: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther [Paperback]

Derek Wilson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 13.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 April 2008

Martin Luther changed Europe and, through Europe, the world. It was he who finally exposed the myth of a unified Latin Christendom, which was only held together by crusades, heresy hunts, Inquisition, and priestly magic. Though not the first radical thinker to challenge papal pretensions and the doctrines they were founded on, by his defiance Luther created the biggest cause célèbre of the age.

But this renegade monk did not just split Europe into rival Protestant and Catholic camps. By urging Christians to read and interpret the Bible for themselves, he gave a religious boost to that emancipation of the individual we associate with the Renaissance. By putting men and women in charge of their own destinies he made a cultural impact which is incalculable.

This first major biography in English for many years, by leading historian Derek Wilson, responds to recent Reformation scholarship to assess Luther's impact on his own and later ages. A warts-and-all study, it gives a vivid picture of a complex and driven man - courageous, stubborn, rumbustious, vulgar, erudite, self-opinionated - but a man of tireless energy and, above all, total conviction. For his achievements we can admire him. In his failings we can identify with him. Luther remains perpetually fascinating.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844134105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844134106
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 747,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"A first-rate biography" (Scottish Sunday Mail)

"Scores highly in thoroughness, clarity and human sympathy. If you want a model of how to defy uncomprehending power - your equivalent of Luther's Pope, Emperor, Church - or a model of how to laugh at the Devil, Wilson has provided a reliable guide as to how Luther did it" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Wilson tells the story well and places it carefully in context, but what makes his book sprecial is the superb closing chapter, where he deals with what these days we would call Luther's legacy" (Herald)

"A vibrantly written book which focuses on personalities as well as the momentous events surrounding them - the impact of which will never be lost" (Belfast Telegraph)

Book Description

A revelatory biography of a remarkable Renaissance man whose rationalist convictions changed not only the development of the church and Europe post-Reformation, but also exercised a profound influence on how the individual relates to society.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, well researched 10 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a great read! Was totally absorbed by this, the man, his passion and his overall warmth and gutsiness. Martin Luther was a role model, whatever your beliefs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes doubtful whether historical analysis 1 Mar 2013
By Erik
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Highly readable. Sometimes I cannot help but have the impression that historical evidence makes way for speculation relating to Luther and his position as well as feelings and thoughts.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and In-Depth 26 Jun 2008
By Randy Kadish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A thorough biography of Martin Luther and an in-depth description of his times. This book is not easy reading, even though it's well written. Out Of The Storm is full of many of the complex issues that shaped the Reformation. Often I found myself having to reread passages. Also, Mr. Wilson didn't seem to write his book from a particular perspective. He lets the events speak for themselves; so to me his book doesn't offer a new take on Luther and his times, which might be disappointing to some, but for anyone interested in how and why the Reformation happened I recommend this book.

Randy Kadish
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Balanced Introduction 21 April 2010
By Michael Gunther - Published on Amazon.com
The cause of history is often served by a good biography. "Out of the Storm" fits that bill, although it doesn't necessarily beat a classic like Roland Bainton's "Here I Stand." Wilson pays due attention to Luther's character and theology, but is perhaps at his best when relating the political and social context of the Reformation. Wilson clearly explains Martin Luther's importance, both in the political division of Europe along religious lines, and in the new individualism that becomes a defining feature of the Renaissance.

Wilson's book is intended as a popular biography, and works well as such. There might be too much detail in the book for some readers, and too little for others, but overall it would be a reasonable choice for those who want a well-balanced consideration of Martin Luther's life and influence.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much speculation! 4 July 2008
By Nyghtewynd - Published on Amazon.com
Wilson's take on Martin Luther is certainly interesting in places; however, it's hard to figure out what sort of book he really wants to write. In some places, he tends towards a futile Eriksonesque psychoanalysis of Luther. In others, he attempts overarching statements about the secularization of the Church to few accurate results. This can't be an academic work, since there aren't enough footnotes and references to justify many of his historical accounts, and it isn't really a theology text. Unfortunately, Wilson tries to write an accessible work which wants to be all things to all people but succeeds in none of it. If you're looking for a true biography, a theological analysis, or a psychological treatise, there are better titles available for all of these possibilities. Look elsewhere.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the Storm Shines Like a New Day 9 Jan 2009
By MO - Published on Amazon.com
Derek Wilson's book, Out of the Storm, is a helpful overview of reformer Martin Luther and the Reformation. This well-written account offers a real portrait of Luther, a man that was complex and reactionary, heroic and bedeviled. Out of the Storm demonstrates that Luther was a man inspired by faith in God to proclaim the truth of the Bible over the miasma of medieval religion, as he effectively demonstrated that the Scriptures yield greater truth than that of Popes, Councils or ancient traditions. Through Luther's teaching, one sees how the sunlight of Scriptures is greater than the moonlight of the Catholic Church. For this, we will always recognize that Martin Luther was a man in the hand of God to do the work of God.

Yet, as the pages of Out of the Storm show us, Luther was also beset by pride and anger. He often argued with all who disagreed with him, believing himself to be the sole possessor of divine truth. This hindered much of the unity in the Reformation. During the last decade or so of Luther's life, he became increasingly bitter, even saying unspeakable things about the Jewish race in society. It is interesting to note how Derek Wilson speaks of Luther's last years in the second to last chapter, entitled, "A Death too Late?". It is in fact possible that Luther lived too long. If he had died before he had written his anti-Semitic diatribe, we would be free to simply admire him as a man of great faith who made effective challenges to medieval Catholic hegemony. However, this same man's life account becomes marred by a most troubling and angry temperament. Other books about Luther's life (see Roland Bainton's Here I Stand) tell how Luther did in fact apologize for his anger when upon his death bed. If only he had confessed his devilish rage and fury to God during his prime decades, he would not have discredited so many of his accomplishments in the eyes of those who may otherwise learn from him. But perhaps this all merely demonstrates that the real hero of the Reformation is not Luther, but God himself. And the real words that overcame the Catholic traditions and liberated the faith of Europe and then the entire world were not those of Luther, but those of God, preserved in the Scriptures alone.

Derek Wilson's book shows all these points of interest in a readable and accessible manner.

Matt Oskvarek
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the Storm 14 Mar 2009
By Book Monger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent book..almost makes you feel like you are there, in history.
Added much to my knowledge of Martin Luther, and Europe, in his time.
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