The publishers have described this as the first full-scale biography in English. Though, it is certainly not the first English biography, it is certainly the definitive one.We have been reasonably served with Kuyper biographies, ranging from the hagiographic (e.g. Frank Van den Berg's 1960 Abraham Kuyper a translation from the Dutch) and under critical (Praamsma's Let Christ be King - another translation) to the over critical (e.g. Koch's yet to be translated Abraham Kuyper: Nu ook voor Kleine Luyden!). Bratt steers a middle course. The first biography written in English was by McGoldrick, God's Renaissance Man drew largely upon Van den Berg and Praasma and focuses primarily on Kuyper's theological views. Bratt's perspective is wider.The chapter titles will give some flavour of the scope of Bratt's biography and of Kuyer's life and influence; these include: Political theorist (ch 7); Church reformer (ch 8); Theologian of the church (ch 9); Theologian of culture (ch 10); Christian democrat (ch 11). Inevitably, a 450-page book will have its limitations. I would have liked to have seen a little more on Kuyper as founder of the VU University. The VU and education played a key role in Kuyper's strategy and this seemed to me is slightly played down in Bratt's approach.In his introduction Bratt notes that Putchinger gave him some advice: "First you'll love the man, then you'll detest him, finally you'll understand him. Then you're ready to write" (p. xxv). Bratt has gone through those stages and has a realistic view of the man: a "great man but not a nice one" (p xxi). This puts Bratt in a good place to write about Kuyper. He does an excellent job of placing Kuyper in his cultural and political context. He examines many of Kuyper's influences and explores the parallels between Kuyper and his contemporaries. Bratt draws upon many of the key Dutch works by Kuyper and others. There is a 14 page index and the bibliographic notes stretch to 44 pages. Particularly helpful are the descriptions and evaluations of Kuyper's writings, especially those not yet translated. Bratt is very good at placing these in the cultural milieu.One frustration was the way the references have been done - there are no footnotes or end notes, but a brief bibliographic essay for each chapter at the end of the book, this makes finding the source of a quote rather difficult. Though it does have the advantage of not breaking up the text with references. The book is eminently readable. If you want to know more about Kuyper this is perhaps the best place to start. I shall certainly be returning to it again and again. Bratt notes that it has taken many years to complete - it has been worth the wait!