Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book review--7 Men, by Eric Metaxas

Eric Metaxas' new book, Seven Men, and the Secret of their Greatness, is designed for the audience of his two best-known books, biographies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and William Wilberforce. "Seven Men" contains 7 mini-biographies of those two, plus George Washington, Chuck Colson, Jackie Robinson, Eric Liddell, and Pope John Paul II.  The length of each subject's story (20-36 pages) will make this book appeal  to many of those readers who want to know about someone's life without going into the kind of details found in full-length biographies which typically only are appreciated by enthusiastic fans and historians.

Although this book is intended for adults, the brevity of each bio makes it perfect for teens and preteens. My 11-yr-old son enjoyed it as much as I did. More important than the stories themselves, especially when it's being read by a boy about to become a man, is the theme which binds the 7 stories together: that the world needs courageous men, willing to sacrifice their own comfort and reputations in order to make positive change in the world.

And while this theme is implicit in the 7 chapters, it's explicit in the introduction. Metaxas opens the book with a 14-page explanation of what true manhood is, and like the main body of the book, it's written in such a way that my kid can clearly grasp the message, one that needs to be heard by his generation.

As for the 7 stories themselves, they are well-told. This book reads well, and I recommend it for the 7 stories of the seven heroic figures, and also for the introduction.

(I received this book for free as part of the Booksneeze book review program. I offer an honest review and in return get to keep my copy of the book.)

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