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Eric Liddell: Pure Gold : A New Biography of the Olympic Champion Who Inspired Chariots of Fire
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Eric Liddell: Pure Gold : A New Biography of the Olympic Champion Who Inspired Chariots of Fire

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  329 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Eric Liddell inspired the classic movie Chariots of Fire. But he was much more than the Olympic champion who ran for the gold at the Paris Olympics in 1924. Liddell dedicated his life to God’s service on the mission field and died in a Japanese internment camp during WWII. By his example, Eric Liddell sounds a clarion call for Christians of all ages: Our worth is not measu ...more
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Discovery House Publishers (first published September 1st 2001)
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Rick Boyer
Mar 22, 2013 Rick Boyer rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book, which chronicles the life and ministry of Eric Liddell, one of the greatest athletes of the first half of the twentieth century. About a third of the volume covers much of the same ground as the movie "Chariots of Fire," (minus the story of sprinter Harold Abrahams), and details Liddell's world-record setting and gold medal winning performance in the 400 meter race at the 1924 Paris Olympics. From an athletic point of view, it's a fascinating account of a man who, with ...more
Jane Duxbury
Jan 22, 2013 Jane Duxbury rated it really liked it
The only reason this book got a 4 rating was that it took me a while to get into it. This is in no way due to the subject matter but reflects the style of the writing. It is good to have 'real' information to add to a story however I would have been happier with far more use of a simpler referencing system.

Eric Liddell's life is quietly startling. I find it very difficult to come to terms with the amount these missionaries 'gave up'. Having children and then leaving them seems outrageous to me,
Danny Deaubé
Nov 17, 2015 Danny Deaubé rated it it was amazing
Eric Liddell, the 400 meter Olympic Champion of the 1924 Olympic games in Paris. His exploits expounded in the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. A deeply religious man with deeply held beliefs. Known as the "Flying Scotsman," the hero of Scotland, won the respect and admiration of millions for his controversial decision not to run on Sunday.

A dedicated Christian and man of principle, not only won the hearts of a nation, but of the world. He used his fame as a Olympic Champion as a pulpit to
Nov 16, 2007 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was able to read this book with my son, Greg. I never knew the story of this godly man, who inspired the movie, "Chariots of Fire". Very moving, and very humbling, to see how he lived his life for Jesus Christ, and had a huge influence on so many people. Highly recommended.
May 10, 2013 Chapronrin rated it really liked it
This worthy biography of the life of Eric Liddell clearly outlined the difference between the real and Hollywood version of his life. Though "Chariots of Fire" overall did a very respectful job in portraying Liddell and his conviction about keeping the Christian Sabbath, along with what took place in some of his races prior to the 1924 Olympics, this book is much better than the movie's version. Not only do you discover that his sister Jenny never hounded him about focusing on running and that t ...more
Jun 20, 2015 Breanne rated it liked it
This story is inspirational, wholesome, and uplifting. I enjoyed so many elements of the whole picture. That being said, I wish my star rating could be 5 for content and 2 for writing. The author has such an adoration for Eric Liddell that he includes in this biography EVERY detail with as much enthusiasm as one would read a travel itinery with sweet, speculative, personal interjections. It's very mundane.
As an individual, Eric Liddell is every bit the gold used in the title. I appreciated his
Nov 06, 2007 Marci rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christians
Every seen Chariots of Fire? This book is the full life story of this man of God. Most people don't know that Eric Liddell was not only a runner, but went to China to be a missionary (just as his parents had done). China during the 30's and 40's was a very unsettled place. Communism was just coming into power and with it the fear and hatred of religion. When Japan took over China all American's were put into prison camps. Luckily, Eric's wife and young daughters were able to leave prior to this, ...more
Othón León
Nov 11, 2012 Othón León rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
His life is an inspiration... a humble man who proved that real power lies within our minds. I completely enjoyed this jewel in my library. I must confess that the only reason I started it was because of a movie (Chariots of Fire) that deeply impacted my life some 30 years ago (1981) when I saw it I wanted to know more and more about this enigmatic character. I wanted to know more... I needed to know more... how could he do that? I mean, he was fast but according to the movie it was much more th ...more
Laura Verret
Feb 04, 2010 Laura Verret rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: My Literature Program
I really enjoyed this book (and it inspired me to start exercising more :P) but some of the cliche phrases used by the author annoyed me. I also found the fact that the missionary parents in China were sending their children to boarding school in England for seven years without even seeing them during that time promoted a warped view of the family. (Sorry for that huge adjective clause). That said, I believe that the moral commitment which Eric Liddell exhibited in risking his Olympic dreams for ...more
Jan Strong
May 19, 2012 Jan Strong rated it really liked it
Being a gigantic fan of the movie "Chariots of Fire" and particularly of the scotsman Eric Liddell, I really enjoyed learning more about
his life. What a wonderful man and family. Here are some British and Scottish folks who believe so dearly in Christianity and helping others
to find Jesus Christ, that they devote their time, efforts , talents and lives to spreading the good news in China. Erick Liddell is one of the truly great
and noble people who is a guiding light to many and to me as well. H
Nov 26, 2008 Becky rated it liked it
Pure Gold by David McCasland was worth reading. While many people have watched the movie Chariots of Fire this book takes the life of Eric Liddell and walks the reader slowly through it. In my opinion, perhaps a little too slowly in the beginning. This may be because so much of Liddell's life as an athlete is known and so until the book really began to track the lives of the Liddell's in China it was a little slow going. While it includes his life as an athlete that is not the primary focus and ...more
Feb 09, 2011 Sydney rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of non-fiction
Everyone... including the people who like to read... who read this with me HATED it. I loved it the more I read it. It's spiritually uplifting, and sets a great example to Christians. However, don't read it if you're just jumping into non-fiction... I think that's why I liked it so much and my classmates didn't. It wasn't uncommon to hear this type of complaining: "If this book could sell so much about a random dude, I could write one about my dad and become a millionare!"
No. This angered me. Er
Feb 25, 2010 Erica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, book-club, 2010
This was an excellent book. Still have mixed feelings with missionary parents sending their children off to boarding school for years at a time. Made me admire Eric and his faith. Wow! What a servant with an amazing heart. The book shows how he obeyed by "loving God with all his heart, soul, and mind!"

03/23/10 Book Club Discussion topics included: missionary life, Eric's character, Eric's writings, difficulty and culture of leaving your children behind to be in a missionary boarding school, res
Brenda Cregor
May 25, 2016 Brenda Cregor rated it it was amazing spoiler alert, we all know that Eric Liddell dies in the end.
I thought...thought...I would get to the end of the book and say, "Yes, he lived well and died. That's life."

Bawled my eyes out of my tiny beany-head.

This man is a contemporary model of a true disciple of Christ.
When Judgement Day comes, and Eric Liddell arrives a the bar of God, he is going to be on the fast-track to exaltation!
Looooove this man!
Love him!
I am going to search for the Daily Study book that he penned.
Jun 03, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
A very compelling definitive biography. All the characters in Liddell's life are complex and well-defined. McCasland draws his details from such diverse sources that at times the nitty-gritty seems to get in the way of the overall arc. However, these digressions are all very interesting and provide the reader with valuable insights into Liddell's circle of friends and influences, they only disrupt the pacing. Highly recommended reading.
Sep 18, 2012 Nathanael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in China missions, missionary biographies, fans of LIddell
This biography tells the story of the famous Christian Olympic gold medalist who stood by his principles by not racing on a Sunday, even though it was his favoured event - a story made iconic by the film, 'Chariots of Fire'.
But the lesser known aspects of Eric's life, his childhood in China and English boarding school, and his later career as a missionary in China, are also told in this biography.

A truly inspiring man who strived to surrender all to his Lord.
David Lean
Nov 16, 2011 David Lean rated it really liked it
This is an inspirational story of the the great athlete and remarkable man of God, Eric Liddel who due to his beliefs refused to compete in the olympics after his event was postponed to a Sunday. By chance he is offered a place in another event on a different day. He takes first place in this event to become olympic champion. After his olympic days, his life contines on as he serves the Lord in China.
Christina Wainwright
Picked this up to learn more about the man who inspired some of the most heart-wrenching scenes in Chariots of Fire. As a non-religious person I was initially turned off by the book's many references to faith. But since that was the guiding principle of Liddell's life, I see that it needed to be in the book. Pedestrian writing about a simple man made great by his selfless love for his god and his fellow man.
Aug 27, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
I stumbled across this on the kindle I borrowed to bring overseas, and am glad I did. Only the first third of the book deals with his running career - the remaining portions cover his time as a missionary in China and subsequent internment in China by the Japanese.

While this is no 'Unbroken', it was a worthwhile read, especially if you're a fan of biographies. However, I wouldn't necessarily read this on a kindle if I had the choice - the photos and maps were hard to see.
May 30, 2012 Donia rated it it was amazing
The best biography that I have ever read about the life of Eric Liddell. I learned about the "Oxford Group" and other wonderful events and people who were a part of his life besides that brief moments of the Olympics. He is now one of my Heroes. A real man who became a martyr for the cause of the Gospel.
Dr. Kurt
Oct 07, 2011 Dr. Kurt rated it really liked it
Easy to read biography of a man who led a amazing life. The book chronicles the life of Eric Liddell from his birth in China to his death in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during WWII. The story points out his strengths and weaknesses, drawing from many sources including surviving family members and others. Well worth the read.
Mar 10, 2009 Ann added it
Awesome book! Eric Liddell's Olympic races were featured in the film "Chariots of Fire". This biography includes an in depth look at Eric's spectacular life. His parents, siblings, wife & children had amazing missionary careers in China. This close-up is very engaging and inspiring.
Aug 31, 2012 Suanne added it
Excellent biography! We should all remember Eric for a much greater work and life than is portrayed in Chariots of Fire (as great and wonderful as that is). His life was truly Christ centered and we can learn much from him. Highly recommend this read.
I didn't read this book from cover to cover but skimmed it. I was particularly interested in reading about Eric's missionary activities. Most of the book was about his racing and only a little about his mission.
Tim Crabtree
Jun 01, 2014 Tim Crabtree rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great and inspiring story of an athlete and how his values shaped his athletic career.
Jun 08, 2008 Phil rated it liked it
Recommends it for: My Friends
I love this Story and this man.
Jennifer Rodewald
May 22, 2015 Jennifer Rodewald rated it it was amazing
Favorite book ever.
Mar 06, 2013 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Very inspiring and thorough, though the writing lagged in places.
Jami Sikkink
Mar 31, 2015 Jami Sikkink rated it liked it
Love the story- some people do amazing things with their lives.
Dec 05, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing
A fine biography of the famous Olympic champion and Christian missionary, this explores in detail the development of Liddell's spirituality through the various stages of his life.
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