International Booker Prize Finalist
The Spectator (UK): Best Book of the Year
From the award-winning author of The Order of the Day, a powerful account of the German Peasants’ War (1524–25) that shows striking parallels to class conflicts of our time.
In the sixteenth century, the Protestant Reformation launched an attack on privilege and the Catholic Church, but it rapidly became an established, bourgeois authority itself. Rural laborers and the urban poor, who were still being promised equality in heaven, began to question why they shouldn’t have equality here and now on earth.
There ensued a furious struggle between the powerful—the comfortable Protestants—and the others, the wretched. They were led by a number of theologians, one of whom has left his mark on history through his determination and sheer energy. His name was Thomas Müntzer, and he set Germany on fire. The War of the Poor recounts his story—that of an insurrection through the Word.
In his characteristically bold, cinematic style, Éric Vuillard draws insights from this revolt from nearly five hundred years ago, which remains shockingly relevant to the dire inequalities we face today.