is the portrait of a silver-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his church, yet lives a life of hypocrisy, sensuality, and ruthless self-indulgence.
The title character starts out as a greedy, shallow, philandering Baptist minister, turns to evangelism, and eventually becomes the leader of a large Methodist congregation. Throughout the novel, Gantry encounters fellow religious hypocrites. Although often exposed as a fraud, Gantry is never fully discredited.
Elmer Gantry is considered a landmark American novel and one of the most penetrating studies of hypocrisy in modern literature. It portrays the evangelistic activity that was common in 1920s America as well as attitudes toward it.
©1954 Michael Lewis; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.