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Out of the Storm: The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther Hardcover – January 8, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Derek Wilson

“Fast-paced biography . . . Wilson deftly chronicles Charlemagne’s military exploits, political intrigues, and religious devotion.”
---Publishers Weekly on Charlemagne

“I cannot praise too highly Derek Wilson’s prose style, which is both masterful and lively. He writes with great conviction and a breathtaking attention to the kind of personal detail that makes his books such compelling reading.”
---Alison Weir on In the Lion’s Court

“The ambition of Wilson’s plan lies in the fact that he does not offer us six separate studies . . . but presents one complex, rich narrative. . . . This plan is carried out with attractive energy and zest. . . . He has written a useful and stimulating book about [Britain’s] most important dynasty.”
---Antonia Fraser, Sunday Times (UK) on In the Lion’s Court

“A masterly study.”
---Daily Telegraph (UK) on Rothschild

“An intriguing and compelling story . . . It does justice to the great genius of Holbein and suggests a new way of looking at him.”
---Times Literary Supplement (UK) on Hans Holbein

“Wilson’s account . . . is masterly. He has a deep understanding of . . . characters, reaching out across the centuries to touch them as if they were old friends.”
---Sunday Times (UK) on Uncrowned Kings of England

“Marvelous material, Fluently and expertly retold.”
---Daily Telegraph (UK) on The Circumnavigators

About the Author

Derek Wilson, a leading biographer and novelist, came to prominence thirty years ago, after graduating from Cambridge, with A Tudor Tapestry: Men, Women and Society in Reformation England. This was followed by several critically acclaimed and bestselling books such as Rothschild: A Story of Wealth and Power; In the Lion’s Court: Power, Ambition and Sudden Death in the Reign of Henry VIII; and  All the King’s Women: Love, Sex and Politics in the Life of Charles II. He has also written and presented numerous radio and television programs. Visit his Web site at www.derekwilson.com.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312375883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312375881
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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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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