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

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

Author: Jon Krakauer

Narrator: Scott Brick

Abridged: 5 hr 24 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Random House Audio

Published: 07/15/2003

Genre: True Crime - Murder

Synopsis

Jon Krakauer’s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. In UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN, he shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders. At the core of his book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this “divinely inspired” crime, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, 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.

Krakauer takes readers inside isolated communities in the American West, Canada, and Mexico, where some forty-thousand Mormon Fundamentalists believe the mainstream Mormon Church went unforgivably astray when it renounced polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the leaders of these outlaw sects are zealots who answer only to God. Marrying prodigiously and with virtual impunity (the leader of the largest fundamentalist church took seventy-five “plural wives,” several of whom were wed to him when they were fourteen or fifteen and he was in his eighties), fundamentalist prophets exercise absolute control over the lives of their followers, and preach that any day now the world will be swept clean in a hurricane of fire, sparing only their most obedient adherents.

Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism’s violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism. The result is vintage Krakauer, an utterly compelling work of nonfiction that illuminates an otherwise confounding realm of human behavior.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Reviews Write A Review

AudiobooksNow review by Jennifer on 2007-05-19 15:29:07

very interesting book..

AudiobooksNow review by Beth on 2007-06-08 19:37:41

I knew nothing about this book when I selected it. The writing was excellent. As a psuedo true crime, it bothered me that the author's bias toward God and religion permeated the book. But, it really gave insight into Mormonism.

AudiobooksNow review by Debbie on 2009-03-28 21:03:40

I expect a crime drama, not a hybrid between an atheistic rant and a very slow to develop story. It took effort to finish and wasn't worth the effort. I am not a Mormon, am not insulted by his slams on the religion, but I resent all religous thought being dismissed as violent and negative. It felt like atheistic propoganda, which becomes a religon of sorts itself! Not what I hoped for!

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