One-Sided Mormon History

Under the Banner of Heaven Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

My review

Rating: 2 of 5 stars
I like my history at least striving for accuracy and balance, and this book almost completely failed in that category. While the sensational style kept it very interesting, I think the author did a great disservice in leaving out all the relevant historical details that don’t confirm his view. (Which is what many decidedly pro-LDS books suffer from.) In no way could this be considered a scholarly work. Two stars for being entertaining, and for the interesting thoughts about whether people who claim to receive revelation should be declared mentally incompetent in a trial. Has anyone else read this book? Any thoughts?

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About shenpa warrior

"Patience is not learned in safety." View all posts by shenpa warrior

2 responses to “One-Sided Mormon History

  • M.A

    I had difficulty making it through: On a purely emotional level, I found it a bit too resonant. I’d have to read it again with a more objective eye to say anything intelligent about it. 🙂

  • hmr

    I like his writing style, mostly, and found it quite interesting. Emily pointed out that his sources were not the most neutral, so it’s understandable that his book isn’t. I thought that because his focus was really on FLDS and on a tragedy that occurred using those teachings as a reason (or excuse), his journalistic style of picking through the parts of history that lend themselves to why “fundamentalists” split off was effective. I thought his aim was not to tell a complete history of Smith or Mormonism, but to sensationalize FLDS making the murders that much more tragic, and to show that there are stark differences between LDS and FLDS.
    The societal views of some of the church’s beliefs were interesting — including the mental competence of one who says he has a revelation — and I had a hard time getting through the violent parts, as well as the explanations for the same.

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