Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

byJon Krakauer

Kobo ebook | June 8, 2004

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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 theocracies are zealots who answer only to God.

At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

Mountain climber and writer Jon Krakauer was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1954. He was raised in Corvallis, Oregon from two years of age. In 1976, Krakauer received a degree in Environmental Studies from Hampshire College in Massachusetts. He worked as a carpenter and fisherman and wrote articles on mountain climbing throughout ...
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Title:Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent FaithFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 8, 2004Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1400078997

ISBN - 13:9781400078998

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from A good read This has some hard parts to read and caused me to think quite a bit about my own beliefs. Makes you think but all in all a good book
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So good! Such an interesting read about extreme religion and how it differs (or sometimes doesn't) from control and manipulation.
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok There's a lot of information in this book. At times too much history and detail that isn't required or salient to the story. Not a book I'd purchase, more likely a library book.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Under the Banner of Heaven On July 24, 1984, Dan and Ron Lafferty murdered their sister-in-law and her baby girl. Why? Because god told them to do so. Jon Krakauer provides a fascinating look at the religious environment that created them. The author begins with a history lesson. Her follows the creation of the Mormon Church by Joseph Smith two centuries ago and traces how the religion has become what we know today. The family were members of a fundamental branch of the LDS Church - a branch that broke away from the mainstream church and was horrified at the direction the church was taking - away from the comfort of patriarchal monotheism, away from the subjugation of women, away from the tenets of polygamy. The brothers blamed Brenda Lafferty for speaking up for herself and other women. The book is a terrifically interesting blend of history and true crime. "Under the Banner of Heaven" isn't so much an indictment of Mormonism (mainstream OR fundamentalist) as it is an illustration of how excessive faith, or extremism in ANY religion can lead to corruption, immorality, and unreason. Towards the end of the book, the author provides a quote from a former member of a fundamentalist branch of the LDS, "If you want to know the truth, I think people within the religion are probably happier, on the whole, than people on the outside But some things in life are more important than being happy, like being free to think for yourself".
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book I really enjoyed this book, and learned a lot (maybe more than I wanted to know) about Mormons.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not for the faint of heart This is a great book that is well written and full of interesting content. It can be difficult to follow at times, especially the intricacies of Mormon history, but everybody should read it. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A scary history I read this book for a book club that I have been attending. This was their latest book. I was only part way through the book before the meting started. This book was a real eye opener. I knew some of the history of the Mormons as I had read a book about them last year. I have even traveled through Salt Lake City. I had heard something about some extreme fundalmenalists who still practised polymagmy, but not to this degree. There are some pretty gruesome stories in this book. It is hard to believe that people would do this sort things to other people and even members of their own family. This book attempts to a factual look at Mormon fundamentalist. The author uses the history of Mormons to explain where the fundalmentists got there beleifs and what the they did to protect their beliefs. This was a very heavy book. It took me awhile to read it. This book is not for everyone. Some of the subjuect matter may be too intense for some readers. It can even be frieghtening. As a sudent of religous history, I was interested in the book. If it weren't for the book club, I might not have read it. Ifound the book very interesting.
Date published: 2013-10-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Under the Banner of Heaven Fascinating. Required reading before seeing "the Book of Mormon".
Date published: 2013-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very interesting read! With all the contorversies and news surrounding polygamy and the LDS church, Jon Krakauer delievers gripping novel about mormonism. It explores the issues of fundamentalists vs modern LDS, and explores the development of the Church from when it was founded until now. Presented in an unbiased manner, this book is not only informative, but it reads like a good mystery/crime book! Good for anyone looking to understand a bit more about what they see in the news. Note- there is some very disturbing content in this book. Including stories about murder and rape. Read with caution.
Date published: 2009-06-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It Would Be Nice If... Authors telling the story of Joseph Smith used sources other than Fawn Brodie's biography "No Man Knows My History". Krakauer tells a fascinating story of the Lafferty Brothers and their many crimes and motivations, however his religious prejudice shows in his descriptions of the founders of Mormonism. He puts as much emphasis and spin as possible on the negative events in Mormon history in order to set up the Lafferty story. While I don't like sanitized versions of Mormon history, Krakauer should be more professional in presenting a view of a religion, even if he has a personal distaste for it.
Date published: 2006-08-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing read If you are interested in the roots of the Mormon faith, the fundamentalist views (including the support of polygamy and incest) of a small percentage of Saints, then you will likely find this a captivating read. I found the entire book, from the history of the Mormon religion to the modern murder committed by a group of FLDS followers, to be captivating. Krakauer makes the history of the church interesting, bouncing back and forth between the early founding of the church and the modern-day teachings. I would definitely recommend this title!
Date published: 2006-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling account of religious extremism John Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven is a compelling and well-written account of Mormon fundamentalism. Krakauer examines the murders of Brenda and Erica Lafferty by Ron and Dan Lafferty in an attempt to understand the history and theology of Mormonism. The author is particularly adept at outlining how and why the Mormon Church moderated its theology to move closer to the mainstream of American life, and how this accommodation moved some Mormons to extremism and bloody violence. The appendix alone is worth the price of the book. Krakauer easily refutes attacks on the first edition of Under the Banner of Heaven by Mormon elders. He then challenges them to open Mormon archives to non-Mormon scholars so that a full critical history of the church can finally be written. We need more books like this one!!!!!
Date published: 2005-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating and Disturbing Having been a fan of Krakauer's Outdoor articles, Into Thin Air, and Into the Wild, I was somewhat taken aback when I saw the topic of his latest book. I was skeptical as to whether a book about Mormon fundamentalism would be interesting and what insight an 'eco-writer' would have. Suffice to say I found it very interesting and well written and thoroughly enjoyed every word. His views are informed and well articulated though un-popular with mainstream Mormons. This edition has the LDS critique and author's reply included which demonstrates a commitment to accuracy and fairness by Krakauer. The historical review of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young et al. was fascinating and the treatment they were given was in my view fair. That being said it is probably easier for me to reach that conclusion being an agnostic secularist. Sometimes the truth hurts and the LDS leadership exhibit [within the book and in the aftermath of its publication] a desire to pretend that polygamy was not a central tenet of Joseph Smith's teachings. Their reasoning and the ecclesiastical convenience which is exposed I found to be intriguing. I expect we have not heard the last of Mormon Fundamentalism in the news and that further conflicts are ahead. This book is essential reading for those who are interested in religous fundamentalism of any denomination and the effects it has on our society.
Date published: 2004-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely unbelievable!!! This book is so good that I can't put it down! It's an incredible, engrossing and unbelievable story of the Mormon faith and fundamentalist beliefs. Society today talks about terrorism and religious fanatics in Afghanistan yet this book explores the relious fanatics within our own borders. It's an intriguing, thought-provoking look at a growing religion.
Date published: 2004-07-14