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No Greater Glory: The Four Immortal Chaplains and the Sinking of the Dorchester in World War II

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  81 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The sinking of the Dorchester in the icy waters off Greenland shortly after midnight on February 3, 1942, was one of the worst sea disasters of World War II. It was also the occasion of an astounding feat of heroism—and faith.

As water gushed through a hole made by a German torpedo, four chaplains—members of different faiths but linked by bonds of friendship and devotion—mo
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jimmy
Dec 20, 2013 Jimmy rated it liked it
Shelves: war-ww2
My Vietnam veterans group is named after the Four Immortal Chaplains, and this is their story from the sinking of the Dorchester by a German u-boat in WWII.

Two main problems with the story. First, it took more than half of it to get to the actual sinking. In other words, too much back story. Second was all the God talk. It's one thing to have a character express beliefs; it's another thing for the author.

Here are their names:

1. Chaplain George Fox, a Methodist. He was a WWI hero. He insisted
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Bonnie Jean
There is a fine line between admiring the subject you are writing about, and descending into hagiography. A good biographer should know the difference and respect it. Dan Kurzman does not. No Greater Glory is the story of the disastrous sinking of the USAT Dorchester- a troop transport ship- off the coast of Greenland during WWII, and the bravery of the four chaplains, Reverend George Fox, Rabbi Alex Goode, Reverend Clark Poling, and Father John Washington, who decided to go down with the ship i ...more
Glenna
May 25, 2016 Glenna rated it liked it
This was a very interesting and informative book. It was very depressing to learn that the leader of the coast guard cutters delayed rescuing the men from the Dorchester for an entire hour. This action virtually guaranteed a higher death rate than was necessary. But the story of the chaplains, their background and motivations, was very interesting.
Stimple
Feb 05, 2011 Stimple rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kurzman, an award-winning author, tells the compelling story about Fox, Goode, Poling, and Washington - four military chaplains all from different religious backgrounds and heritages - and their service and ultimate demise aboard the ill-fated USAT Dorchester - a troop transport - during WWII off the coast of Greenland in 1943.

The first half of the book tells about the families, friends, and acquaintances of the four along with some background on several of the Dorchester crew-members and passen
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Rick Segers
Jun 12, 2011 Rick Segers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good book that can be read different ways. Those seeking the religious aspects of the story will enjoy. The history buffs like me will like it for its historical significance. I first learned of the story of the Four Chaplains as child building a stamp collection and I came across the U.S. commemerative stamp issed to honor the four. Other than bits and pieces of the story, in those pre-internet days I was able to put very little information together. I discovered this book in an on-line ...more
Mark
Jan 10, 2008 Mark rated it it was ok
Shelves: history

This is an absolutely mesmerizing tale -- the tragedy of the USAT Dorchester, sunk in the North Atlantic by a U-boat 65 years ago, killing hundreds of men, interlaced with the tale of four chaplains -- one priest, one rabbi, two Protestants -- who gave away their life jackets and went down with the ship after helping dozens of men to get into lifeboats and rafts.

But be warned: Dan Kurzman lets no chance for hagiography go unremarked upon. As an editor, I have often told writers that when they ha
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Nancy Kennedy
Feb 03, 2012 Nancy Kennedy rated it it was amazing
In telling stories from the past, the acts of heroes are often overstated and embellished. This can be particularly true of war stories. But there are times when facts cannot be refuted, and when heroes are truly as brave and selfless as they have been painted.

Dan Kurzman's telling of the story of The Four Chaplains who went down with the USAT Dorchester in World War II is backed by innumerable accounts of surviving witnesses. The four interfaith Army chaplains -- Protestant, Catholic and Jewish
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Richard
Jul 06, 2008 Richard rated it liked it
It is an account of 4 military chaplains and their heroic nature as the ship they were traveling in, The Gloucester, was torpedoed in the North Atlantic in February of 1943. A Catholic Priest, Dutch Reformed Priest, Methodist Priest, and Jewish Rabbi gave their life vests to men who didn’t have them and linked arms on the deck of the ship as it sank. Kurzman researched each of the chaplains and told of their boyhood and their decision to be a chaplain after WWII started. These were exceptionally ...more
Kara Larson
Jan 22, 2013 Kara Larson rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Listened to this book on the way to work. It is about 4 chaplains of different faith who sacrificed their lives during WWII when their ship was hit by a torpedo in the North Atlantic. I was amazed by their bravery and don't want to underestimate the sacrifice. However, this was overshadowed for me with the underlying message the author gives, going off of the chaplains own words, regarding the equality of all religions. Over and over the book talked about each religion being a good way to get to ...more
Carrie
Jul 08, 2009 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed listening to this story. The tale of the four chaplains is inspiring but the heroic efforts of so many of the men on this ships in this convoy were also amazing. For me, it was not only the sacrifice of the chaplains in saving others while the ship was sinking but the way they had each lived their respective lives and the message that they each promoted of learning about other religions and cultures and loving one another because we all worship the same God and He is the Father of each ...more
Suzanne
A wonderful, true story of 4 chaplains and their amazing heroism during WWII with the sinking of the Dorchester off of Greenland. They were a Jewish rabbi, Catholic priest and 2 Protestant ministers. It's a story that truly represents the biblical passage, Malachi 2:10 (which was chiseled on one of the numerous memorials dedicated to them here in the U.S.)...all faiths working together for one God and the betterment of man.
Richard Bales
Sep 21, 2011 Richard Bales rated it really liked it
An amazing book with personal ties to my family. My uncle(my mother's brother) was one of the many soldiers who died about the Dorchester on its way to Greenland. The ship was sunk by a German submarine on Feb 3, 1943. To my uncle, Joel Ralph Barlow, it was an honor to know of your sacrifices through this book.
Steve
Oct 08, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding book of the sacrifice and bravery of four chaplains from different denominations-One Methodist, One Catholic, One Dutch Reformed, and one Jewish-Who gave their lives to save others from the troop carrier Dorchester which sank off the coast of Greenland in 1943 by a German U-Boat. I found it interesting about the early background of each of the chaplains.
Tina
Oct 16, 2008 Tina rated it really liked it
Tragic story of four chaplains who died in the the sinking of the Dorcester in WWII. It was hard to read the accounts of the men who were there who had to witness the needless deaths of so many of their comrades. Many died because they were left in the water too long, which was due to one captain holding back the cutters meant to rescue them.
Beth
Dec 02, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Fascinating exploration of an event in war history most are probably unaware of and a poignant reminder that sometimes humanity is capable of rising above its base instincts in acts of monumental heroic love.
SuzanneG
Jul 18, 2009 SuzanneG added it
Shelves: audio-books
Pete is listening to the audio book, so I thought I'd at least start this one in conjunction with the Year-for-Priests celebration. I'm excited about it.....perused the websites about it, as well as looked at the US Postage Stamp that was created to commemorate them! Fascinating Stuff!
Stephen
Jun 18, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it
What a day to finish. We all can't go down with a ship, but we can do something for others while we're alive. Do now so memories of you will live on after your last breath.
Susan Poling
Dec 09, 2012 Susan Poling rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, wwii
A much better depiction of the Four Chaplains than Sea of Glory. Full of interesting facts. Well researched.
Sue
May 19, 2009 Sue rated it liked it
Shelves: history, military
The event and sacrifices are tragic and inspirational, but sometimes the rhapsodizing is a bit too much. Your milage may vary.
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“We can build such a sanctuary by returning to the fundamental pleasures of home and family, of good books, and most important, to the joy of worshiping God. If our happiness is dependent upon these, the outside world can tumble about us and we can still have peace.” 0 likes
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