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Serving God and Country: United States Military Chaplains in World War II Hardcover – August 7, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; 1 edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425247864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425247860
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Dr. Dorsett has skillfully written the stories of the chaplains who made their contribution during World War II...This is a tremendous work of interest to military historians, spiritual leaders from all faith groups, and patriotic Americans.”—Carlton W. Fulford, Jr., General (Ret.) U.S. Marine Corps

“One of those rare books that delivers excellent history and realistic inspiration in equal measure.”—Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

“Lyle Dorsett does a superb job at capturing the spirit, culture, and challenges chaplains of all denominations faced during World War II.”—Chaplain (LTC) Robert Nay, 5X Skill ID, Military Historian, U.S. Army


--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Lyle W. Dorsett has a Ph. D. in American History, served in the Marine Corps Reserves, and taught Twentieth Century U.S. history at the University of Southern California, University of Missouri—St. Louis, University of Colorado, Denver, Denver University, and Wheaton College in Illinois. Dorsett is also rector of Christ the King Anglican Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he currently holds the Billy Graham Chair of Evangelism at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
He had borrowed someone's book and now has his own copy.
clark mcnutt
He has done a great service to compile the stories of the value of these chaplains of many faiths to the war effort.
Veronica39
The hard work the author put into researching and writing this book shows.
Michael Dean Perry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Toki on September 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Serving God and Country" by Lyle Dorsett is a well-written book that takes the reader from the days prior to Chaplains going off to war with our Troops, through the War, and after. I enjoyed it thoroughly and was choked up a few times during my reading of it. The unsung heroes who many times stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the American Soldier did so much to keep bolstering morale when it didn't seem like the tide was turning fast enough. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in finding out about a dimension of WWII that hasn't been talked about (at least not in my hearing).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Derek on December 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chaplain (Major General) William Arnold once observed, "Battles are won by military power, but wars are won by spiritual power." In this very well-researched book, Lyle W. Dorsett makes his case that America's military chaplains were indispensable to helping America secure victory against the Axis during world War II. In making his case, Lyle also does an excellent job of illuminating an often-overlooked aspect of World War II--namely, the story of the service rendered by American chaplains.

This book includes many brief vignettes of a variety of chaplains, including Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish chaplains, as well as the experiences of chaplains in the various different military services and operational theaters. But what shines through most in this book is the exceptional devotion of the vast majority of American military chaplains to their calling. Many of these chaplains were generous and sacrificial, truly living out their religious convictions, and providing their fellow soldiers with invaluable care, counsel, and encouragement, often in the face of horrendous conditions.

Dorsett also does an excellent job of highlighting various aspects of the whole chaplain experience, including how chaplains from different faith traditions and even racial backgrounds learned from one another, and in essence lived out a more democratic, integrated life long before America's armed services themselves became integrated. He also highlights just how truly evil and barbaric the Nazis and Japanese were in many instances. This book also contains several dramatic accounts of how many chaplains intentionally went into harm's way to offer front-line soldiers much-needed spiritual support in the midst of combat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Leroe VINE VOICE on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
PRO DEO ET PATRIA ("for God and Country"), the motto of the Army Chaplaincy, captures the mission of military chaplains in WWII. Their devotion God and to the troops they served, moved them to make tremendous sacrifices within a non-traditional and pluralistic environment. The chaplaincy is not for every clergy person, yet to expand one's parish to everyone in uniform, regardless of their faith (or lack thereof), is a unique opportunity to communicate hope to those in dire circumstances. The "greatest generation" produced some great chaplains, and their amazing stories are here in this outstanding account. Having recently read Dorsett's excellent bios on D.L. Moody and Joy Davidman, I was not surprised by the thorough and inspiring history of chaplains in a war unlike any other. While an evangelical Protestant, Dorsett gives equal coverage to Jewish and Catholic chaplains, telling of their ministries while under fire, in POW camps, slogging through the mud, and somehow finding the courage to continue and to comfort troops who were struggling to survive. Troops rarely care what faith group their chaplain belongs to; they simply are glad that someone who cares is with them, providing a ministry of presence in time of need. Those who care about both military and church history will find Serving God and Country a wonderful addition to their library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Veronica39 on October 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after a relative told me she had seen it displayed in her local bookstore. The reason she told me about it is because my uncle's picture is in the photo section. Hearing that, I ordered a total of these 3 books, and sent one to my younger brother and one to my daughter. Of particular interest to me was the section of the European Theater of WWII, where my Uncle, Father Venanty Szymanski, served as a chaplain with the 101st Airborne. He jumped into occupied France as a paratrooper with "his men" in the hours before the invasion on D-Day. His own story is not told in the book, but I know from family history that his story is the story of so many of the chaplains mentioned in the book.

Dr. Dorsett has authored the book in an easily readable and interesting fashion, interspersing WWII history with the personal stories of many chaplains mentioned by name, and with back stories of the US government process for training them as non-combatants for what became almost combat duty as medics, counselors and confidantes to the military forces so far from home. He has done a great service to compile the stories of the value of these chaplains of many faiths to the war effort. Reading some of the stories brought me to tears to recognize how much our freedom cost so many, and how so many were willing to join the fight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Norman Griess on December 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I throughly enjoyed this book. It gace insight into a part of the war I had never looked at before. A must read!
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