"Smile Pretty and Say Jesus (that's what PTL audiences were urged to do) captures the sideshow atmosphere surrounding the final months of Jim's and Tammy's tenure, and it provides some solid, detailed information on the various warring fundamentalist sects. There are other, more straightforward accounts of the PTL; this one is more fun to read."
—The State (Columbia, SC)
Veteran journalist Hunter James covered the story for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the first report of Bakker's double life until eight chaotic months later when the unwelcome Falwell left the bankrupt ministry in South Carolina and went home for good to his own church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Smile Pretty and Say Jesus is James's wry, personal account of the struggle for control of the PTL enterprise, which included a satellite network and a 2,300-acre theme park, Heritage USA.
James's book is valuable for the important distinctions it makes between Pentecostals and Baptist fundamentalists and for its explanation of the "prosperity gospel" Bakker and his wife, Tammy Faye, professed. Combining straightforward reportage with human interest sketches and profiles, the book is also the most insightful to date on the attitudes and motives of the principal figures involved in the debacle.
List price: $24.95
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