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Eric Metaxas: The Accidental Biographer

To hear him tell it, Eric Metaxas was as surprised as anyone at the success of his William Wilberforce biography, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery and his epic-length Deitrict Bonhoeffer follow up with Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, which clocked in at 608 pages.

7 Men And the Secret of Their Greatness - Eric MetaxasThis time around he offers a sampler of stories in Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness. He draws on material from the earlier books for two of the sections, and the seventh is someone with whom he worked personally; which leaves us with this lineup: George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson,

While I’m not a sports guy, I’ve mentioned here a few weeks ago that the Jackie Robinson chapter was my favorite, and the timing vis-a-vis the 42 movie works out well. It also typifies Metaxas’ desire to bring us new elements, and new backstory. He’s anticipating the question, “Can you tell me something I haven’t heard before?’

There is literally something for everyone here: Sports, politics, Catholic interest, U.S. History, etc., and with Father’s Day coming up, this is a title I can highly recommend. If 608 pages is too much reading some men, this one is only 256 pages, but is a book to be measured by its depth, not its length.

The book releases next week from Thomas Nelson in hardcover in the U.S., elsewhere in ITPE.

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  1. Darryl Drover
    April 22, 2013 at 7:02 am

    I just read this through on a recent flight, and it is a great book. In terms of appealing to the “stereotypical” male reader, you could sell this as a collection of 7 mini-stories, so a guy could pick and choose to read which bio’s he wants.

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