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Publisher's Summary

“I cannot and will not recant!…Here I stand.” This authoritative and inspiring story paints a vivid portrait of the crusader who spearheaded the Reformation. Considered one of the most readable biographies of Martin Luther, this volume looks at the German religious reformer and his influence on Western civilization.
Martin Luther entered a monastery as a youth and as a man shattered the structure of the medieval church, speaking out against the corrupt religious practices of the time. His demand that the authority for doctrine and practice be scriptures, rather than popes or councils, echoed around the world and ignited the great Reformation. Accused of heresy and threatened with excommunication and death, Luther maintained his bold stand and refused to recant. In his crusade to eliminate religious abuses, he did more than any other man to establish the Protestant faith.
With sound historical scholarship and penetrating insight, Roland Bainton examines Luther’s widespread influence. He re-creates the spiritual setting of the sixteenth century, showing Luther’s place within it and influence upon it. Here I Stand dramatically brings to life Martin Luther, the great reformer.
Roland H. Bainton (1894–1984), a specialist in Reformation history, was for forty-two years Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale, and he continued writing well into his twenty years of retirement. He wore his scholarship lightly and had a lively, readable style. His most popular book, Here I Stand, sold more than a million copies.
©1950, 1977 Roland H. Bainton (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“Easily the most readable Luther biography in English.” ( Time)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mike on 03-03-13

An Excellent Book and Biography!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Here I Stand to be better than the print version?

I loved the book so much I purchased a hard copy after I finished reading it. There are many wonderful period illustrations in the book version, which you do not see in the audio. Also, I think the print version is better in that sense that few renderings perfectly capture the spirit and voice of an author. Sometimes it was also a little difficult to determine where Martin Luther's quotes began and ended and where it was the words of the author. That being said, this is an excellent alternative for those who don't have the time to sit down read a larger volume, like myself! I would highly recommend it in its audio form.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Martin Luther! The book was about him of course. The author also takes the time to highlight many other important and relevant characters to the life of Martin Luther.

Which scene was your favorite?

The author does a masterful job of tracing the life of Martin Luther in a chronological fashion from birth to death, while also taking meaningful excursions to sample his writings and thought, as well as considering his historical setting. I really appreciated how he took the time to provide substantial, digestible quotes from Martin Luther's works. This gave you a real feel for and impression of the man himself from a direct source and was a great complement to the author's own narrative.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I was pretty well captivated by this book, considering it was a biography. I always looked forward to listening to it on the way to work. It is certainly not readable in the sense of a historical fiction, but it is definitely written in the general form of a narrative and would be easy to follow for most.

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent biography for any interested in Martin Luther. The author is fair and balanced in presenting Martin's strengths and weaknesses as well as relating to him in his cultural context. While he is certainly a formidable scholar, you will not find him overly critical, as many modern religious biographies can be. This is more the story of a man than the historical/critical evaluation of a life. Even though this biography is over 50 years old it is still good in content and well worth the read. I believe those of a Christian persuasion who value the life and contributions of Martin Luther will find this an excellent, readable, thorough, fair, and generally positive portrayal of his life. Those of other persuasions will also find a fair and readable biography that provides a good scope of the man and his thought. I also really appreciated the selected quotations and excerpts he provided from Martin Luther's own works. They give you a very good sense of who Martin was. I also found them incredibly insightful and, even, refreshing as a Christian myself. Sometimes I felt like I was listening to a sermon or reading a devotional when portions were shared. Overall an excellent biography and well worth the read for anyone interested.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

By Rindt on 01-14-13

The classic Luther Biography well read.

Would you listen to Here I Stand again? Why?

Yes, I found it a very good listen. The narrator has an even, confident tone which was easy to listen too. This book was a great walk through the life of one of history's most interesting, influencial and controversial figures - Martin Luther.

What about Tom Weiner’s performance did you like?

Tom Weiner has an even, confident tone which was easy to listen too. I found his voice welcoming and easy to learn from.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I have read several biographies of Martin Luther and his contemporaries. This one is susinct, down to business and covers Luther's life in a way which will be easy for a newcommer to learn from or the experience reader to enjoy and gain knowledge. It is not overly acedemic like so many others. Just a good biography the way they should be written.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Antti on 09-27-15

A Formidable Biography Superbly Read

As a confessional Lutheran I’m quite familiar with much of Luther’s writings but familiar enough with their stupendous quantity as well to say that ”much” in this context is a somewhat relative term. He wrote abundantly, preached even more, and there was always someone at hand to write down what he said.

There is, therefore, ample material for a Luther biography, then, and Bainton has certainly written a formidable one. It’s easy to read since it flows like a friendly conversation does, and it’s filled to the brim with citations from Luther that elucidate the historical context admirably to appreciate that the life he lived was as full of danger as it was of grace.

Tom Weiner’s reading of the audiobook is among the best I’ve come across lately. It’s like he’s the author himself and we’re enjoying a pint, or at the dinner table having a meal. He’s done lots of sci-fi, it seems. I have to find something else to hear him again, he’s that good.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Amazon Customer on 08-24-12


This does all a good biography should. It opens the whole setting: geography, politics, history, finance... We listened over dinner each evening and we are going to miss it. Beutifuly read by Tom Weiner.

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Customer Reviews

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By Benjamin Myers on 08-22-17

A masterful intellectual biography

Any additional comments?

A powerful interpretation of Luther's life and thought. Bainton gives a vivid and attractive depiction of Luther's personality. His account of Luther's theology is brilliant. All in all, one of the best religious biographies I've read. It would also make a perfect introduction for anyone interested in exploring Protestant thought.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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