Thaddeus Lamb: Or, Taking America Back
by P. G. Smith

"She was a blessing from God; the best thing that ever happened to him. And he ignored her most of the time."

Reverend Thaddeus Lamb is a man clinging to the fundamentalist past in the face of rapid social upheaval. As pastor of the Angel Falls Independent Church of the Straight and Narrow, he has had to deal with dwindling attendance. An old college friend proposes a solution to Thaddeus: the way of the future in ministry is televangelism, and now is the time to get involved. While the Reverend looks for a way to raise money, he crosses paths with a man named Roger Wright, a conservative who blends business and politics as if the two were always meant to go hand-in-hand. Focused on what he believes is his mission from God, the antiquated Thaddeus pours his all into the world of televangelists, all while his children drift from his fundamentalist upbringing toward disco, feminism, and rock and roll.

Covering almost the entire decade of the 1970s, this work of fiction brings the era of social progressivism to life and pits its titular character against each and every one of its changes. Written in a humorous tone, it calls to mind the conflict of old and new popularized by sitcom fathers of the era like Archie Bunker and is perfect for encapsulating the upheaval of the Ford and Carter years. What sets this book apart from just treading the same ground, however, is its political plot which runs concurrently with the stories about family life and fundraising. Balancing out the humor brought on by Thaddeus’s struggles is a fairly honest (if perhaps at times exaggerated for narrative effect) look at how conservative politicians turned their platform into one based on religious morals and fundamental Christian values. Entertaining and eye-opening, this comic tale uses fiction to tell a story that is entirely plausible given its setting and era.

Return to USR Home