The Harriet Beecher Stowe of Nancy Koester’s new biography is not the one with which most readers are familiar—the “little woman who made this big war,” as Abraham Lincoln reportedly said about the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Martin Luther: Exploring His Life and Times, 1483-1546, by Helmar Jughans (CD-ROM)
Written biographies of Martin Luther abound, but only one multimedia, hypertext CD-ROM attempts the tale. As a Luther scholar and sometime software designer, I find this production's media more interesting than its message.
The new English translation of Bethge's 1970 biography, skillfully rendered by Barnett, includes all corrections and revisions of earlier editions. As a result, the edifying story of a remarkable 20th-century Christian life is now available in even greater detail. At 941 pages it's not a quick read, but Bethge offers a compelling account of a complex man.
The opening lines of Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground (1864) can hardly be described as inviting: "I am a sick man. . . . I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased." Yet generations of readers have been engaged by the writer's exquisite self-awareness, his extreme ambivalences and his complex understanding of life in a dysfunctional society.