The following is best read aloud in a booming announcer voice 😉
Allow me to introduce you to the book I’ve been anticipating most for the past year–The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial That Captivated America (2011, Steerforth Press–Distributed by Random House. Foreword by Ft. Worth native Bob Schieffer of CBS News). Perhaps you’ll recall how last year I went on and on about a book about J. Frank Norris‘ murder trial. Well, that caterpillar quickly entered its cocoon and the butterfly is soon to be released! July 12 is the scheduled date for Pastor David Stokes’ thorough narrative non-fiction work on one of the most colorful fundamentalists of the early 20th century.
A rising star in the Southern Baptist Convention, J. Frank Norris resolved to spread God’s Word in a populist and sensationalist manner–taking on every villain, real or perceived, that crossed his path–doing battle royal in the most public manner as he could to make a big name, not only for himself, but also for the Savior whose cause he strove to promote. Norris’ tactics however, epitomized the very definition of “misadventure.” A burr in the saddle of local Fort Worth, Texas powerful elites, a sworn enemy of the “liquor interests” and self-appointed defender of the faith against the liberalizing tendencies at his alma mater, Baylor University, almost all agree that J. Frank Norris generated more heat than light. The growing crescendo of sensational exploits on these and other fronts would culminate in devastating tragedy and make headlines across the country when Norris shot an infuriated opponent to his death.
The murder trial of J. Frank Norris in the 1920’s was literally the “OJ Trial” of that generation. A relentless media circus hung on every detail of the trial as they kept the country buying paper after paper to learn the fate of this ambitious religious ringleader. You’ll never believe that a story like this is true. You simply have to read it for yourself!
The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial That Captivated America is available for pre-order at the book’s new website. I’ll also be adding The Shooting Salvationist Blog to my blogroll so we may all keep up with it.