Pat Robertson: An American Life

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 312 pages
2 Reviews
This is the first professional, independent biography in twenty years of Pat Robertson: founder of both the Christian Coalition and the Christian Broadcasting Network, host of the daily TV show The 700 Club, and former presidential candidate. Robertson's Christian Coalition led the Republican take over of Congress in 1994 and his leadership of the Christian Right helped elect George W. Bush. After the 2004 presidential election, pollsters and scholars claimed that the Republican party had become America's first religious party. A big part of the reason that the GOP became identified with evangelical Christianity is Pat Robertson. Marley attempts to present a balanced view of his subject in which Robertson's detractors will find reasons to appreciate some of his contributions while his fans will confront tough questions about some of his past actions. More than just a political biography, the book also explains his theology, business dealings, and personal life in a readable narrative style.
 

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Pat Robertson: An American Life

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Marley (history, Vanguard Univ., Costa Mesa, CA) has written a solid and well-researched biography of one of America's most controversial voices, Christian Coalition founder and former presidential ... Read full review

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Marley gets high marks for research and even higher for his comprehensive nature in an overdue chronicle of this important life in American religion, politics, and education. While an adequate bio on Robertson could have been 100 pages longer, Marley managed to get a lot of information on the pages. At times he seemed to have rushed to press, even misreading his own notes, for instance in locating an early Robertson home in Plymouth, Virginia, rather than the actual Portsmouth, and even ascribing the wrong first name to Robertson's assistant of five decades. Marley's best research is portrayed in the chapters on the 1988 presidential campaign, yet his worst regards the Christian Coalition, where many of his "facts" are blatantly incorrect. Perhaps more personal interviews and less newspaper articles used as sources would have better served both the author and Robertson. Oddly, Marley seemed to turn against his subject about a third of the way through the book, which is preplexing in that his source notes seem to indicate that Robertson graciously opened his campaign, university, and ministry archives for the author.  

Contents

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IV
20
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39
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54
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68
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86
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About the author (2007)

David John Marley teaches history at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California.

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