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For the Glory: The Life of Eric Liddell Hardcover – 12 May 2016
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"For the Glory is wonderful: painstakingly researched, intelligently structured and written with flair. In an Olympic year, it is fitting that an Olympic tale should be the most uplifting." (Daily Telegraph, Sports Books of the Year)
"Eric Liddell deserves a definitive biography. This is it." (Sunday Times, Sports Books of the Year)
"Absorbing... in an age when sport is riddled with corruption, vanity and petty rage, Liddell's story is timely. However, the real theme is faith and providence rather than fame and proving oneself. A story about religious belief could be dry fare, but Liddell is too good a subject and Hamilton too deft a guide to let that happen... He is one of the great sportsmen of the 20th century purely because he knew sport's place." (The Times)
"Eric Liddell's athletic prowess was immortalised in Chariots of Fire. But Duncan Hamilton offers a more detailed and equally engrossing insight into one of Britain's great sporting heroes in this compelling new biography. For the Glory is in turn triumphant, harrowing, moving yet ultimately uplifting. It also cements the status of Hamilton, twice-winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, as the doyen of biographical sports writing." (Daily Express)
"Duncan Hamilton's compelling biography puts flesh on the legend and paints a vivid picture of not only a great athlete, but also a very special human being." (Daily Mail, Book of the Week)
"Superb... Liddell was a saint whose death was the result of following an exemplary life. It is usually an insult to describe a work as hagiography but in Liddell's case there may be no other way to tell his story." (Sunday Telegraph)
"While its descriptions of sporting greatness are worth savouring, For the Glory is most of all an inspiring portrait of a good man. Duncan Hamilton's achievement is to disarm cynics in his measured and memorable account. He brings to life an unparalleled athlete, but more importantly, an inspirational man." (TLS)
"The triumph of Duncan Hamilton's moving, inspiring book is not that it covers brilliantly an exhilarating, unlikely sporting career. It does all this, of course, as Hamilton has fine form, being a double winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. His finer achievement though, is to give a sense of a good man. It is the most sincere of tributes. Hamilton makes Liddell unforgettable for what he did, how he lived and how he loved." (The Herald)
"Gripping... an uplifting story of a truly decent man, his athletic prowess and his unwavering faith. Read it." (Oldham Evening Chronicle)
"Hamilton sets out to reveal the man behind the movie (and that indelible song) and he certainly succeeds." (Washington Post)
"Hamilton shows Liddell as more than a star who used the spotlight to call attention to his beliefs: he was a truly selfless human being who gave everything he had to others... his writing feels effortless in this inspiring story." (Publishers' Weekly)
"Vivid and heartfelt... Hamilton's passion for his subject shows through on every page." (Bookpage)
The definitive biography of one of Britain's greatest ever heroes, by the two-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.See all Product description
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I found some inconsistency in the style of the writing in that the writer went for strong emotions in the first and final chapters yet many of the others were covered in a more matter-of-fact way even though they dealt with quite harrowing content at times.
Further, **Spoiler Alert**(yes seriously), the claims by the Chinese government that Liddell had refused an early exit from the Japanese internment camp were brushed off in less than a paragraph and I would have liked more discussion on this issue.
When the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Liddell is incarcerated in a sort of prison camp, dreadful not so much in terms of privation and bad treatment by the Japanese (although both were bad enough), but for the horrible overcrowding and claustrophobia. It's attractive to take solace (as Liddell's daughter later did) in the consolation that Liddell's goodness was manifest in the prison conditions -- but I find it impossible to get away from the fact that his incarceration was foreseeable, avoidable and unnecessary, and that no practical good came of the whole thing. Also, there's a pervasive sense of tragedy in the separation of an almost saintly husband-and-wife alliance.
A great read. A brilliantly written book, which I will keep. But I won't be re-reading it anytime soon.
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