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In 1943, the U.S.A.T. Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine en route to a top-secret radar installation in Greenland. The four Army chaplains on board were quite different from each other: a Methodist pastor, Jewish rabbi, Dutch Reformed minister, and Catholic priest. Yet in the terror following the attack by deadly U-boats, the chaplains united in a final sacrifice that transformed every survivor who saw it-and inspired one man to trade the bitterness of the past for the promise of the future.
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Ken Wales has enjoyed a long and successful career in film and television. His acclaimed accomplishments include the film The Tamarind Seed, and the award-winning miniseries John Steinbeck's East of Eden. His passion and vision brought Catherine Marshall's acclaimed Christy series to CBS Television. Ken is a professor and mentor at his alma mater, The University of Southern California, School of Cinema. He and his wife live in Pacific Palisades, California.
David Poling is the first cousin of one of the four chaplains, Clark V. Poling. He is the past president of Christian Herald Publishing Company, and currently is serving as vice president for Americana Publishing, Inc. He and his wife currently reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico.From Publishers Weekly:
Does factual history make for good fiction? Well, yes and no in this military novel with strong spiritual themes. Father John Washington, Rev. Clark Poling, Pastor George Fox and Rabbi Alex Goode are thrown together on the doomed army transport ship Dorchester in February 1943. As Nazi U-boats lurk just beneath the surface of the western Atlantic, waiting to intercept and destroy ships that pass within torpedo range, spiritual battles take place on board the Dorchester. Not, however, among the clergy. Despite their diverse religious traditions Catholic, Jewish, Methodist and Reformed Protestant the four chaplains find a consistent unity of purpose in boosting the spirits of the military men under their care. Indeed, the spiritual unity is unbelievably idyllic: some disagreement or tension among the four might have made their relationship more convincing. However, the final sacrifice they make based on true accounts is undisputedly inspiring. The novel's strength lies in its detailed depiction of a heavily researched historical event; this is also a weakness, as the reader often feels more like a history pupil than a participant in the adventure. This story might have been better presented as nonfiction. Still, history buffs who prefer a Christian theme in their novels will be happy to find a new offering in the limited pool of titles available to them, and WWII fans will enjoy this retelling of the sinking of the Dorchester.
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