The Reformation: Book summary and reviews of The Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch

The Reformation

A History

By Diarmaid MacCulloch

The Reformation
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  • Published in USA  May 2004,
    800 pages.

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Book Summary

The Reformation and Counter-Reformation represented the greatest upheaval in Western society since the collapse of the Roman Empire a millennium before. The consequences of those shattering events are still felt today—from the stark divisions between (and within) Catholic and Protestant countries to the Protestant ideology that governs America, the world's only remaining superpower.

In this masterful history, Diarmaid MacCulloch conveys the drama, complexity, and continuing relevance of these events. He offers vivid portraits of the most significant individuals—Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Loyola, Henry VIII, and a number of popes—but also conveys why their ideas were so powerful and how the Reformation affected everyday lives. The result is a landmark book that will be the standard work on the Reformation for years to come. The narrative verve of The Reformation as well as its provocative analysis of American culture's debt to the period will ensure the book's wide appeal among history readers.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Critics Circle Award, 2004

Reviews

Media Reviews

"MacCulloch's magisterial book should become the definitive history of the Reformation." - PW

"This well-written book is a joy to read, with new facts and interpretations on nearly every page; still, the work's size and information density will make it slow going for those without a basic knowledge of the subject." - Library Journal

"A monumental study ...an essential work of religious history." - Kirkus

"This is an outstanding work that examines fairly and objectively a definitive epoch in the history and spiritual development of the Western world." - Booklist

"A masterpiece . . . In its field it is the best book ever written." - The Guardian (UK)

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