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Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley Hardcover – May 1, 2012
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The author received a lot of information from numerous interviews, and discussions directly with Mickey Gilley. However, the author only received a very limited amount of information directly from Jerry Lee and Jimmy Swaggart, due to personal reasons of their own. However, Jerry Lee & Jimmy Lee were very friendly and cordial to the author.
All three of these cousins were born within a 12 month span, during the Great Depression, of the 1930's.
The book's title "Unconquered", comes from a game these 3 cousins played when they were growing up. One cousin would do a stunt, and challenge the other 2 cousins to match it. If you couldn't match the stunt, then you were "conquered". One day they rode their bicyles down the 10 mile strecth from Ferriday to the Vidalia-Natchez Bridge across the mighty Mississippi River.Read more ›
Mr. Davis does a wonderful job of weaving their lives together (there is no other way to tell their stories) as well as focusing in on personal struggles and private demons of each man. Their talents are unquestionable. The way their individual families handled them is so different, though and the influence of each family had a great deal to do with where they ended up on the success continuum.
I love biographies for one major reason: I learn about family dynamics and the psychology behind how people end up where they do in life. It fascinates me and so I gravitate to biographical accounts. This book was very satisfying in that regard. Having been raised in a background similar to these men, it helped me to understand struggles I have encountered (they why factor) and to also reinforce my thinking that our choices are what matter most in this life.
You cannot remove religion from the palette that paints these men, so if you are a person who doesn't care to hear about such things, then don't read this book. The ever-present influence of religion and (to a greater degree) Pentecostalism is intrinsic to their story. Without that angle, there is no story. So, I'm letting any potential reader know now, this book dredges those depths.
Great book. I learned SO MUCH about these guys, and I have to say I've formed a new-found respect for Mickey Gilley because of this story. I liked him before, but after this book I do think he is an exceptional person.
Excellent work, JD Davis.
Reading the book I could understand the internal struggles Jerry, Jimmy and Mickey had and probably still feel today.
More than just a "tri-ography" of the three cousins which in itself is fascinating, Unconquered shows the highs and lows of using God's given talents to do his will and your own.
Drayton Edwards, Dallas, TX
J. D. Davis
This novel, a saga of cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley portrays the humanness of character. The research, apparent throughout the reading, provides the reader with a deeper understanding of pressures placed upon humans who enter stardom.
Born within a twelve month period in the south, the author portrays how the climb to greatness and recognition works upon the inner teachings and strength of the individuals. Broken homes and marriages abound as they struggle to reach goals, set by ideals or comparisons drawn to other named greats of the era.
The author skillfully traces the life of each as they go through trials and tribulations leading to greatness and acceptance on stages of the world. Jerry Lee Lewis had a highly recognized talent; how he chose to utilize, abuse, and recapture leads the reader forward.
Jimmy Swaggart, renown as a gospel singer and evangelist makes a rapid climb from his humble upbringing to world acclaim, only to have personal transgressions rip the stability from under him. How he handles the calamities and moves forward with his personal life and spiritual calling provide interesting reading material.
Mickey Gilley, country star who built a huge dinner theater and accompanying rodeo, also traveled the road not so straight. How each participant deals with inter- and intra-personal issues provides fuel for the avid reader.
Written at a mid-level for difficulty, history buffs will gain an insight into an era of America's past that will provide illumination upon emergence of social aspects of the 21st century.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a well written book. I enjoy all the cousins for different reasons. I thought the author did a good job of linking their individual stories into their family story. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Carol M. Lyons
This is an absolutely amazing story of the life of Jerry Lee Lewis, you will laugh and be amazed at some of his antics .. what a life he lived!!Published 6 months ago by marionnorm
Enjoyed the book about these three. I once read a book written by his booking agent who said all the stories you hear about Jerry Lee Lewis are probably truePublished 6 months ago by John K.
I have always been fascinated about the familial relationship of these uniquely talented and gifted men. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Griffin's Granny