Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Under the Banner of Heaven is a riveting read. The Lafferty boys were brought up in a squeaky clean All-American family. So what made two of them follow revelations from God to slit the throat of their ex-beauty queen sister-in-law and her infant daughter? The problem was that they got involved... show more
Under the Banner of Heaven is a riveting read. The Lafferty boys were brought up in a squeaky clean All-American family. So what made two of them follow revelations from God to slit the throat of their ex-beauty queen sister-in-law and her infant daughter? The problem was that they got involved in the fundamentalist, survivalist wing of the Mormon Church. Author Jon Krakauer expertly jumps from the immediate horror of the Lafferty boys to the context of Mormonism and the wider questions of religious violence. In the process we are taken on a house of horrors ride through the badlands of fundamentalist Mormon religion. Krakauer introduces us to red necks with more than 30 "wives"--many who were "married" in their early teens. It's a story of fraud, child abuse, incest, physical violence and spiritual and emotional rape at a deep level. The contemporary story is lurid and shocking, but as Krakauer relates the picaresque story of Joseph Smith--the founder of the Mormon religion--you realise that present day fundamentalist Mormons are far closer to their founder in spirit and behaviour than the more squeaky clean manifestations of modern Mormonism. This well researched and tightly written account gives a great potted history of Mormonism and illuminates the psychotic fringes of religious mentality. In doing so it reveals the wild dangers of spiritual free wheeling and the need for caution and restraint in religion. --Dwight Longenecker
Publish date: May 10th 2005
Publisher: Random House Audio
Edition language: English
This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like t...
When a man kills a woman and her toddler in cold blood and claims god told him to do it, your first reaction is he must be crazy. Because only a crazy person would do that, right? Actually, he's quite rational under the construct of his belief system. The biggest and most disturbing takeaway from th...
Actual rating = 3.5. Very graphic descriptions of violence. Parts reminded me of In Cold Blood, but maybe even more disturbing. Gave me a nightmare that I murdered someone and was being chased by the police and my mom (who may or may not have been a police officer in the dream).
One thing I’ve noticed about Krakauer books is that I always feel as if the author wrote all the subjects for the book on index cards, threw them up in the air, collected them, and then shuffled them before writing. He seems to write a chapter based on one particular interview or idea rather than wr...
First, I have to say that Krakauer's writing is fantastic. He sweeps up the reader. He tells stories wonderfully. He never talks down to either his reader or his subject. For instance, in this book it would have been quite easy for Krakauer to protray every polygamist as evil. This he does not ...