The untold and inspiring story of Eric Liddell, hero of Chariots of Fire, from his Olympic medal to his missionary work in China to his last brave years in a Japanese work camp during WWII.
Many people will remember Eric Liddell as the Olympic gold medalist from the Academy Award-winning film Chariots of Fire. Famously, Liddell would not run on Sunday because of his strict observance of the Christian Sabbath, and so he did not compete in his signature event, the 100 meters, at the 1924 Paris Olympics. He was the greatest sprinter in the world at the time, and his choice not to run was ridiculed by the British Olympic committee, his fellow athletes, and most of the world press. Yet Liddell triumphed in a new event, winning the 400 meters in Paris.
Liddell ran - and lived - for the glory of his god. After winning gold, he dedicated himself to missionary work. He travelled to China to work in a local school and as a missionary. He married and had children there. By the time he could see war on the horizon, Liddell put Florence, his pregnant wife, and his children on a boat to Canada while he stayed behind, his conscience compelling him to stay among the Chinese. He and thousands of other Westerners were eventually interned at a Japanese work camp.
Once imprisoned, Liddell did what he was born to do: practice his faith and his sport. He became the moral center of an unbearable world. He was the hardest worker in the camp, he counseled many of the other prisoners, he gave up his own meager portion of meals many days, and he organized games for the children there. He even raced again. For his ailing, malnourished body, it was all too much. Liddell died of a brain tumor just before the end of the war. His passing was mourned around the world, and his story still inspires.
In the spirit of The Boys in the Boat and Unbroken, For the Glory is both a compelling narrative of athletic heroism and a gripping story of faith in the darkest circumstances.
©2016 Duncan Hamilton (P)2016 Penguin Audio
A remarkable real work about a remarkable and very real man of faith. The audiobook was flawlessly produced and everything needed to bring Eric Liddell alive.
The strength of this biography, beyond the fact that Eric Liddell's life is worth writing about, may be that it is not, strictly speaking, a Christian book. The author does not seem to write from a strictly faith perspective. He simply relates the facts of Liddell's life as they are, without any attempt to "spiritualized" them. The result is an unvarnished telling of a remarkably unblemished life. Humility, selflessness, devotion to God - Eric Liddell apparently reflected each of them in a manner so consistent and sincere that it is impossible to deny them.
By the time you reach the epilogue of Hamilton's work, you are realize how rare such individuals as Liddell are. You wonder whether you can live as he did if you saw God as great as he saw Him, and desired to live unto Him the way he did. The Olympic medal, the question of races not run, almost seem trivial when compared to the question of where God fits into one's own life - which is likely how Eric Liddell would have wanted it.
The audio version is well done, although there are times when the narrator seems to lack engagement with the text. He comes across as merely reading script than telling the challenging story of a man who lived almost entirely for the Glory of God.
I highly recommend this work.
An excellent read that causes you to rethink your own priorities and impact on those around you.
My only complaints are that the narrative jumps around a bit at times and that some descriptions of the war are quite graphic.
Overall, an excellent representation of a life lived to the Glory of God.
My two favorite topics are Baseball and Military History. But my favorite books of all time are Starship Troopers and Ready Player One.
This book, much like Eric Liddell's life, is not about running. Rather, it's about his life long passion of missionary work. He was born into it and died doing it, with only a brief moment racing for glory; but it was for His glory that Eric ran.
One cannot listen to this book without feeling inadequate about being a compassionate human being. Liddell's story isn't one of self-righteous judgement of sinners and non-believers. It is something more akin to Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr., and Jesus Christ Himself, who cared more about their fellow man than their own self-interest.
I felt the author too hurriedly described the historical context of Chinese history and it's pertinence to Liddell's story. However, that doesn't take away from the author's account; I would prefer more where others might prefer less. Another criticism is the author's continuous use of the word, anachronism; archaic or old-fashioned are more appropriate in each of his uses while anachronism (albeit not incorrectly used) is more for a chronological impossibility (e.g., Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address, reading from an Android Smartphone).
Much like Laura Hillenbrand's "Unbroken," one is emotionally bonded with the subject and simultaneously distraught at the cruelties of mankind during Liddell's time in WWII occupied China.
If you've seen "Chariots of Fire," you may think you know the Eric Liddell story. But Liddell never considered competing in the Olympics the most important part of his life. Duncan Hamiliton tells the Olympic story, but includes the rest of the story, all that Liddell gave up running for.
Liddell was a remarkable man, one who lived what he believed. In a day when it's difficult to find anyone to look up to, "For the Glory" gives us such a person. I didn't want this book to end.
Hamiliton did a wonderful job of researching and composing Liddell's biography. He vividly describes scenes, reads old newspaper headlines and letters, and quotes family, friends, and colleagues to give us a picture of the man. And Nicholas Guy Smith's narration was very good. I highly recommend the book!
The content of this biography was equal parts inspiration and power. The reading of this biography was riveting and eloquent.
I walked away with a deep appreciation for a man who I was mildly aware of through Chariots of Fire. This tells the greater portion of Liddel's life where the man soared to higher achievements than any earthly gold could tell.
Just like any good biography I was introduced to an era of history in a gripping way. I knew very little about the Japanese invasion of China preceding WWII but the author offers enough to bring the listener/reader along with the tragedy of that war torn place and era.
The performance of this book was perfect! I could listen with delight to this reader reading the phone book.
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