Today universally recognized as a landmark in American literature, Elmer Gantry scandalized readers when it was first published, causing Sinclair Lewis to be "invited" to a jail cell in New Hampshire and to his own lynching in Virginia. His portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his church-a saver of souls who lives a life of hypocrisy, sensuality, and ruthless self-indulgence-is also the record of a period, a reign of grotesque vulgarity, which but for Lewis would have left no record of itself. Elmer Gantry has been called the greatest, most vital, and most penetrating study of hypocrisy that has been written since Voltaire.
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This novel was Lewis’ first satire of protestant fundamentalism. Elmer Gantry is a self-absorbed college student who was originally supposed to go to law school, but his unethical attitude did not suit the law school world. He instead becomes a minister. Lewis believed the hypocritical world of religion needed to be brought forward, and he did so in a harsh way. Appropriate for high school students during units focusing on societal pressures and values in the mid 1900's.
I am sure that when Lewis wrote this novel in the 1920s he could never have dreamed religious fundamentalism would have such a grip on some parts of our world in the 21st century. This is a good story that is also a very cautionary tale about how charismatic religious figures can so easily abuse their position. No doubt some people may interpret this book as an assault on religion. I would suggest that is unfair. Rather this is a useful novel to remind us how easily charismatic individuals can manipulate others for their own selfish purposes. A valuable novel for teachers and pupils to read.
Other editions - View all
Gone from the Promised Land: Jonestown in American Cultural History
Limited preview - 2004
A Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy
A. W. Richard Sipe
Limited preview - 1990
Elmer Gantry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There is no record of the character of Elmer Gantry or any other characters as being fictionalizations of the careers of Billy Sunday or Aimee Semple ...
en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Elmer_Gantry
Literary Encyclopedia: Elmer Gantry
Elmer Gantry (1927) is, in fact, the most scathing satire Lewis ever wrote. Like Main Street (1920) and Babbitt (1922), Elmer Gantry provoked widespread ...
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Sinclair Lewis – Elmer Gantry : inorden
Elmer Gantry – well, we know a little more about Elmer Gantry today than when Sinclair Lewis introduced him in 1927. We’ve seen James Randi’s exposés of ...
Elmer Gantry Summary and Analysis
Elmer Gantry summary with 117 pages of encyclopedia entries, essays, summaries, research information, and more.
Elmer Gantry, a Flawed Preacher for the Ages : NPR
Elmer Gantry, the traveling evangelist who loved whiskey, women and wealth, was conceived by Sinclair Lewis in a best-selling 1927 novel and continues to ...
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Elmer Gantry: Information and Much More from Answers.com
Formed: 1967 Disbanded: 1969 Representative Albums: The Very Best of Elmer Gantry & Velvet Opera , Elmer Gantry's Velvet Opera Similar Artists:
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Barnes & Noble.com - Rediscovery: Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
The Barnes & Noble Review of Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry; Rediscovery by Brooke Allen.
www.barnesandnoble.com/ bn-review/ feature.asp?PID=21509
Les Enragés.org: President Elmer Gantry
For good measure, though, Lewis had already invented him when he created Elmer Gantry, thereby giving us an always timely prophecy of what to expect when ...
unrulymob.blogspot.com/ 2006/ 11/ president-elmer-gantry.html
Sinclair Lewis: Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth
In all, Sinclair Lewis wrote 22 novels, of which "Arrowsmith," "Elmer Gantry," and "Dodsworth" are among his most famous. Through his novels and other works ...
classiclit.about.com/ od/ lewissinclair/ fr/ aafpr_slewis.htm
Elmer Gantry (1960) Notes
Elmer Gantry (1960) Notes Turner Classic Movies presents the greatest motion pictures of all time from one of the largest film libraries in the world.
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