Under the Banner of Heaven Book
Score: 3.5
From 35 Ratings

Under the Banner of Heaven


  • Author : Jon Krakauer
  • Publisher : Anchor
  • Release Date : 2004-06-08
  • Genre: True Crime
  • Pages : 432
  • ISBN 10 : 9781400078998

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Under the Banner of Heaven Excerpt :

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the author of Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, this extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities. 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; some 40,000 people still practice polygamy in these communities. 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.

Under the Banner of Heaven Book
Score: 3.5
From 4 Ratings

Under the Banner of Heaven


  • Author : Jon Krakauer
  • Publisher : Doubleday Books
  • Release Date : 2003
  • Genre: Religion
  • Pages : 388
  • ISBN 10 : 9780385509510

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Under the Banner of Heaven Excerpt :

Traces the 1984 murder of a woman and her child by fundamentalist Mormons, exploring the belief systems and traditions that mark the faith's most extreme factions and what their practices reflect about the nature of religion in America.

No Man Knows My History Book
Score: 4
From 15 Ratings

No Man Knows My History


  • Author : Fawn M. Brodie
  • Publisher : Vintage
  • Release Date : 1995-08-01
  • Genre: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 577
  • ISBN 10 : 9780679730545

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No Man Knows My History Excerpt :

The first paperback edition of the classic biography of the founder of the Mormon church, this book attempts to answer the questions that continue to surround Joseph Smith. Was he a genuine prophet, or a gifted fabulist who became enthralled by the products of his imagination and ended up being martyred for them? 24 pages of photos. Map.

Three Cups of Deceit Book
Score: 3.5
From 14 Ratings

Three Cups of Deceit


  • Author : Jon Krakauer
  • Publisher : Anchor
  • Release Date : 2018-05-02
  • Genre: Social Science
  • Pages : 128
  • ISBN 10 : 9780525565130

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Three Cups of Deceit Excerpt :

Greg Mortenson, the bestselling author of Three Cups of Tea, is a man who has built a global reputation as a selfless humanitarian and children’s crusader, and he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. But, as bestselling author Jon Krakauer demonstrates in this extensively researched and penetrating book, he is not all that he appears to be. Based on wide-ranging interviews with former employees, board members, and others who have intimate knowledge of Mortenson and his charity, the Central Asia Institute, Three Cups of Deceit uncovers multiple layers of deception behind Mortenson’s public image. Was his crusade really inspired by a desire to repay the kindness of villagers who nursed him back to health when he became lost on his descent down K2? Was he abducted and held for eight days by the Taliban? Has his charity built all of the schools that he has claimed? This book is a passionately argued plea for the truth, and a tragic tale of good intentions gone very wrong. 100% of Jon Krakauer’s proceeds from the sale of Three Cups of Deceit will be donated to the “Stop Girl Trafficking” project at the American Himalayan Foundation (www.himalayan-foundation.org/live/project/stopgirltrafficking).

The Secret Lives of Saints Book
Score: 4
From 6 Ratings

The Secret Lives of Saints


  • Author : Daphne Bramham
  • Publisher : Random House Canada
  • Release Date : 2009-04-03
  • Genre: Religion
  • Pages : 496
  • ISBN 10 : 9780307371614

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The Secret Lives of Saints Excerpt :

The Secret Lives of Saints paints a troubling portrait of an extreme religious sect. These zealous believers impose severe and often violent restrictions on women, deprive children of education and opt instead to school them in the tenets of their faith, defy the law and move freely and secretly over international borders. They punish dissent with violence and even death. No, this sect is not the Taliban, but North America's fundamentalist Mormons. Daphne Bramham explores the history and ideas of this surprisingly resilient and insular society, asking the questions that surround its continued existence and telling the stories of the men and women whose lives are so entwined with it—both the leaders and the victims.

Into Thin Air Book
Score: 4
From 209 Ratings

Into Thin Air


  • Author : Jon Krakauer
  • Publisher : Anchor
  • Release Date : 1998-11-12
  • Genre: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 320
  • ISBN 10 : 9780679462712

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Into Thin Air Excerpt :

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER • "A harrowing tale of the perils of high-altitude climbing, a story of bad luck and worse judgment and of heartbreaking heroism." —PEOPLE A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster. By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself. This updated trade paperback edition of Into Thin Air includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy. "I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer

Prophet s Prey Book
Score: 4
From 23 Ratings

Prophet s Prey


  • Author : Sam Brower
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing USA
  • Release Date : 2011-08-01
  • Genre: History
  • Pages : 336
  • ISBN 10 : 9781608193257

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Prophet s Prey Excerpt :

From the private investigator who cracked open the case that led to the conviction of Warren Jeffs, the maniacal prophet of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), comes the page-turning, horrifying story of how a rogue sect used sex, money, and power disguised under a façade of religion to further criminal activities and a madman's vision. In Prophet's Prey, Brower implicates Jeffs in his own words, bringing to light the contents of Jeffs's personal priesthood journal, discovered in a hidden underground vault, and revealing to readers the shocking inside world of FLDS members whose trust he earned and who showed him the staggering truth of their lives.

Classic Krakauer Book
Score: 4
From 1 Ratings

Classic Krakauer


  • Author : Jon Krakauer
  • Publisher : Anchor
  • Release Date : 2018-02-27
  • Genre: Sports & Recreation
  • Pages : 160
  • ISBN 10 : 9780525562733

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Classic Krakauer Excerpt :

Spanning an extraordinary range of subjects and locations, these ten gripping essays show why Jon Krakauer is considered a standard-bearer of modern journalism. His pieces take us from a horrifying avalanche on Mount Everest to a volcano poised to obliterate a big chunk of Seattle; from a wilderness teen-therapy program run by apparent sadists to an otherworldly cave in New Mexico, studied by NASA to better understand Mars; from the notebook of one Fred Beckey, who catalogued the greatest unclimbed mountaineering routes on the planet, to the last days of legendary surfer Mark Foo. Bringing together work originally published in such magazines as The New Yorker, Outside, and Smithsonian—all rigorously researched, vividly written, and marked by an unerring instinct for storytelling and scoop—Classic Krakauer powerfully demonstrates the author’s ambivalent love affair with unruly landscapes and his relentless search for truth.

Church of Lies Book
Score: 3.5
From 10 Ratings

Church of Lies


  • Author : Flora Jessop
  • Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
  • Release Date : 2009-01-20
  • Genre: Religion
  • Pages : 329
  • ISBN 10 : 9780470565469

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Church of Lies Excerpt :

From the Preface: "My name is Flora Jessop. I've been called apostate, vigilante, and crazy bitch, and maybe I am. But some people call me a hero, and I'd like to think they're right too. If I am a hero, maybe it's because every time I can play a part in saving a child or a woman from a life of servitude and degradation, I'm saving a little piece of me, too. I was one of twenty-eight children born to my dad and his three wives. Indoctrinated to believe that the outside world was evil, and that I resided among the righteous, I was destined to marry a man chosen for me by the Prophet. I would then live in harmony with my sister-wives, bear many children, and obey and serve my future husband in this life and throughout eternity. But my innocence didn't last long. While still a child, I understood that the church of the righteous was nothing but a church of lies. When I was eight years old my father sexually molested me for the first time, raping me when I was twelve. I tried to kill myself. Beaten, molested, taunted, and abused by family members alleging they only wanted to save my soul became a daily routine, I ran from this abuse more than once in my early teens--even attempting to cross the desert on foot. My family hunted me down. I thought government agencies would provide me safety if I reported my father. Instead, police and social services colluded with the FLDS to return me to my family and I ended up back inside polygamy, right where I started." Flora goes on from there to tell the dramatic true story of how she ultimately escaped and has been fighting against frustrating obstacles with hard fought successes in rescuing women and children from the FLDS. It's a story you can't put down.

Seasons Under Heaven Book
Score: 4.5
From 6 Ratings

Seasons Under Heaven


  • Author : Beverly LaHaye
  • Publisher : Zondervan
  • Release Date : 2010-06-15
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Pages : 352
  • ISBN 10 : 9780310873716

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Seasons Under Heaven Excerpt :

Tory Sullivan struggles with the demands of motherhood and her desire for a career. An aspiring writer, she wonders whether she'll ever be able to develop her talent while raising two young children. But perhaps the problem isn't a matter of time, but of Tory. Cathy Flaherty is rediscovering the grins and groans of the dating game. The spunky single mother of three teenagers, she's also learning the urgency of instilling sound values in her children as they attend public school. Sylvia Bryan is an empty-nester. Now that her children are gone, she struggles with a gnawing lack of meaning. Her husband, Harry, wants to become a medical missionary. But for Sylvia, the best part of life seems like nothing but a memory. Brenda Dodd faces an uncertain future. Her nine-year-old son is getting sicker, and there seems to be nothing they can do. It is every mother's nightmare -- a child who will die unless he receives a heart transplant. As the women of Cedar Circle band together to save a dying child, they learn that each moment is precious in every season under the heaven. Taking the best and worst of human circumstances -- the tender moments, the laughter, the tragedies, and the triumphs -- Beverly LaHaye and Terri Blackstock weave from them a poignant, warmly human novel. Gently uncovering the inner struggles, stresses, and joys that surface among neighbors living in a quiet cul-de-sac, the authors show us the power of ordinary lives being knit into a strong, many-textured fabric of family and friendships. Seasons Under Heaven depicts the deepest emotions of a woman's heart, and those circumstances, both thrilling and tragic, that test and strengthen Christian faith.

Into the Wild Book
Score: 3.5
From 4,485 Ratings

Into the Wild


  • Author : Jon Krakauer
  • Publisher : Anchor
  • Release Date : 2009-09-22
  • Genre: Biography & Autobiography
  • Pages : 240
  • ISBN 10 : 9780307476869

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Into the Wild Excerpt :

Krakauer’s page-turning bestseller explores a famed missing person mystery while unraveling the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons. "Terrifying... Eloquent... A heart-rending drama of human yearning." —New York Times In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How Christopher Johnson McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and, unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild. Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life. Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the drives and desires that propelled McCandless. When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris. He is said to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelle

American Massacre Book
Score: 4
From 5 Ratings

American Massacre


  • Author : Sally Denton
  • Publisher : Vintage
  • Release Date : 2007-12-18
  • Genre: History
  • Pages : 352
  • ISBN 10 : 9780307424723

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American Massacre Excerpt :

In September 1857, a wagon train passing through Utah laden with gold was attacked. Approximately 140 people were slaughtered; only 17 children under the age of eight were spared. This incident in an open field called Mountain Meadows has ever since been the focus of passionate debate: Is it possible that official Mormon dignitaries were responsible for the massacre? In her riveting book, Sally Denton makes a fiercely convincing argument that they were. The author–herself of Mormon descent–first traces the extraordinary emergence of the Mormons and the little-known nineteenth-century intrigues and tensions between their leaders and the U.S. government, fueled by the Mormons’ zealotry and exclusionary practices. We see how by 1857 they were unique as a religious group in ruling an entire American territory, Utah, and commanding their own exclusive government and army. Denton makes clear that in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, the church began placing the blame on a discredited Mormon, John D. Lee, and on various Native Americans. She cites contemporaneous records and newly discovered documents to support her argument that, in fact, the Mormon leader, Brigham Young, bore significant responsibility–that Young, impelled by the church’s financial crises, facing increasingly intense scrutiny and condemnation by the federal government, incited the crime by both word and deed. Finally, Denton explains how the rapidly expanding and enormously rich Mormon church of today still struggles to absolve itself of responsibility for what may well be an act of religious fanaticism unparalleled in the annals of American history. American Massacre is totally absorbing in its narrative as it brings to life a tragic moment in our history.

Missoula Book
Score: 4
From 46 Ratings

Missoula


  • Author : Jon Krakauer
  • Publisher : Anchor
  • Release Date : 2016-01-12
  • Genre: Social Science
  • Pages : 418
  • ISBN 10 : 9780804170567

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Missoula Excerpt :

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “A devastating exposé of colleges and local law enforcement.... A substantive deep dive into the morass of campus sex crimes, where the victim is too often treated like the accused.” —Entertainment Weekly Missoula, Montana, is a typical college town, home to a highly regarded state university whose beloved football team inspires a passionately loyal fan base. Between January 2008 and May 2012, hundreds of students reported sexual assaults to the local police. Few of the cases were properly handled by either the university or local authorities. In this, Missoula is also typical. In these pages, acclaimed journalist Jon Krakauer investigates a spate of campus rapes that occurred in Missoula over a four-year period. Taking the town as a case study for a crime that is sadly prevalent throughout the nation, Krakauer documents the experiences of five victims: their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the skepticism directed at them by police, prosecutors, and the public; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them. These stories cut through abstract ideological debate about acquaintance rape to demonstrate that it does not happen because women are sending mixed signals or seeking attention. They are victims of a terrible crime, deserving of fairness from our justice system. Rigorously researched, rendered in incisive prose, Missoula stands as an essential call to action.

Abusing Religion Book

Abusing Religion


  • Author : Megan Goodwin
  • Publisher : Rutgers University Press
  • Release Date : 2020-07-17
  • Genre: Religion
  • Pages : 166
  • ISBN 10 : 9781978807808

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Abusing Religion Excerpt :

Sex abuse happens in all communities, but American minority religions often face disproportionate allegations of sexual abuse. Why, in a country that consistently fails to acknowledge—much less address—the sexual abuse of women and children, do American religious outsiders so often face allegations of sexual misconduct? Why does the American public presume to know “what’s really going on” in minority religious communities? Why are sex abuse allegations such an effective way to discredit people on America’s religious margins? What makes Americans so willing, so eager to identify religion as the cause of sex abuse? Abusing Religion argues that sex abuse in minority religious communities is an American problem, not (merely) a religious one.

Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon  2d ed  Book

Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon 2d ed


  • Author : David Persuitte
  • Publisher : McFarland
  • Release Date : 2000-09-01
  • Genre: Religion
  • Pages : 336
  • ISBN 10 : 9780786408269

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Joseph Smith and the Origins of The Book of Mormon 2d ed Excerpt :

Just as a growing interest in millennialism at the turn of this century has rejuvenated religious debate and questions concerning the fate of the world, so did Mormonism develop from millennial enthusiasm early in the nineteenth century. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and a provocative, even controversial figure in history, declared that he had been given the authority to restore the true church in the latter days. The primary source of Smith's latter-day revelation is The Book of Mormon, and to fully understand his role as the founder of the Mormon faith, one must also understand The Book of Mormon and how it came to be. Unfortunately, the literature about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon is permeated with contradiction and controversy. In the first edition of this impressive work, David Persuitte provided a significant amount of revealing biographical information about Smith that resolved many of the controversies concerning his character. He also presented an extensive comparative analysis positing that the probable conceptual source for The Book of Mormon was a book entitled View of the Hebrews; or the Tribes of Israel in America, which was written by an early New England minister named Ethan Smith. Now in an expanded and revised second edition incorporating many new findings relating to the origin of The Book of Mormon, Mr. Persuitte's book continues to shed much new light on the path Joseph Smith took toward founding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.