The Life of Eric Liddell
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.
‘Eric Liddell deserves a definitive biography. This is it.’
Sunday Times, Books of the Year
Faster. Higher. Stronger. No one has embodied the ideals of the Olympic movement quite like Eric Liddell, star of the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. After refusing to compete on religious principle in the event in which he was favourite, the 100 metres, at the 1924 Games in Paris, Liddell won an astonishing gold medal in the 400 metres. But instead of pursuing a path of global fame and fortune, he chose to follow his calling as a missionary in the country of his birth, China, a land which then fell under the iron grip of a brutal Japanese army.
Liddell became the inspirational leader of the work camp in which he, like many thousands, was interned, and For the Glory is the full story of his life, of his family, of his fellow prisoners and the terrible hardships and atrocities they experienced in the Far East. This is the tale of a sporting icon, a man of honour and principle who paid the ultimate sacrifice while becoming the moral centre of an otherwise unbearable world.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Vivid and heartfelt... Hamilton's passion for his subject shows through on every page.”