Campbell writes from a Catholic viewpoint but makes no attempt to whitewash the sins of churchmen. Likewise, his adherence to Catholic doctrine does not prevent him from giving sympathetic treatments of those with whom he disagrees. It quickly becomes apparent how the Reformation was driven almost as much by culture and politics as it was by religion.
I very much enjoyed the structure of the book. Each of the sixteen chapters tells the story of one or two of the period's key players, progressing through the 1500's in roughly chronological fashion. We come to know Erasmus, Luther, Emperor Charles V, Calvin, John Knox, Ignatius, Borromeo, and a host of others. At 320 pages, Heroes & Heretics is not a thin book; and yet, the mini-biographies made it a page turner. There were many characters whose names I had heard over the years, but I had never stopped to investigate. (I now find myself especially enamored by the ministry and martyrdom of St. Edmund Campion.)
Whether you are looking to get a better grasp on the history of this tumultuous period or be challenged by the saintly examples of those who persevered through it, Heroes & Heretics of the Reformation (TAN, 2017) is a great addition to the home library.