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American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph…
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American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the… (urspr publ 2014; utgåvan 2014)

av Alex Beam (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
894242,017 (3.79)1
On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood. At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting the Church of Latter-Day Saints and creating his own 'Golden Bible'-the Book of Mormon-he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He'd led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for President. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women. In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: how his most seismic revelation-the doctrine of polygamy-created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride. Mormonism is America's largest and most enduring native religion, and the 'martyrdom' of Joseph Smith is one of its transformational events. Smith's brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history. American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.… (mer)
Medlem:atari_guy
Titel:American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church
Författare:Alex Beam (Författare)
Info:PublicAffairs (2014), Edition: First Edition, 352 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:**
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church av Alex Beam (2014)

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Rather than follow a straight chronological recounting of the history of the Mormon Church, Beam focuses on the fugitive flight of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum from Nauvoo, Illinois. While this was not the first time Smith fled from justice, it would be his last. Accused of inciting a riot and preventing the guarantee of a free press, he was hounded by the law in Carthage.

It seems that Joseph Smith was adept at gathering followers, but could not seem to shake the hatred of many he came into contact with. He caused particular ire from government as Smith created mini-fiefdoms among his flock. A neighboring town began a newspaper denouncing Smith, and the Mormons did not like it so they destroyed the printing press. This caused a series of events that led to the escape of Smith with other church elders and eventually their surrender.

While in jail, a mob of rioters stormed the building and began shooting. Three of the four prisoners were shot. John Taylor survived his wounds, but both Hyrum and Joseph Smith did not. Five men were tried for the murder of the Smith brothers but all were acquitted.

The church was in a crisis after the murders, and three men vied to succeed Joseph. The majority of the congregation went with Brigham Young, who later led followers across the country to Salt Lake City, Utah.

What should have been an exciting portrayal of fugitive flight, a marauding mob, and murder fell a bit flat. I found that I became bored in many parts of this book. While I learned a lot about this aspect of the Mormon Church, I was looking for a faster pace.
  Carlie | Mar 29, 2017 |
A relatively quick read, this book explores much of Joseph Smith's life, focusing of course on his murder and the aftermath. It presents a very human Joseph Smith, especially during his time in Nauvoo, Ill. Interesting, too, are the segments on his development of his new church's rituals and even the King Follett Discourse at which Joseph reveals his new doctrine that the god of the Bible was once a human being like us. I much enjoyed the book. ( )
  jimcintosh | May 11, 2016 |
Interesting to a student of American religions, but bumpy and probably 1/3 longer than it really needs to be.
  revliz | Dec 9, 2014 |
When Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob at a jail in 1844, it might not have qualified as a literal crucifixion, but it took on that mantle figuratively. These days, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) is approaching mainstream; then, it was a disturbing threat to the status quo.

Alex Beam uses a journalist’s precision to make the case that any new religion would have produced that sort of reaction in the U.S. of the time, but that Smith’s new doctrine of polygamy was the final push needed to crystallize persecution of Mormons.

It’s possible to argue—as many historians have—that the LDS were simply the most extreme among many new religious movements of the time (think Adventism and Christian Science, which also have their roots in the period). But he makes a good case for those—also now relatively mainstream—groups also being viewed with suspicion, as well as a good case for the doctrine of polygamy being the match that lit the fuse.

Beam is impartial enough that he’s likely to upset both members of the LDS and their critics, some of whom are only slightly less rabid than the folks in Nauvoo and Carthage; to those of us interested in history, that’s a good indicator of the value of this book.

Reviewed on Lit/Rant: http://litrant.tumblr.com/post/87481796931/the-second-salvation-american-crucifi... ( )
  KelMunger | Jun 5, 2014 |
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Prichard, MichaelBerättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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If you can imagine yourselves how the apostles and saints felt when the Savior was crucified, you can give something of a guess of how the Saints felt here when they [heard] that their Prophet and Patriarch were both Dead and murdered by a lawless mob. Never has there been such a horrible crime committed since the day Christ was crucified . . .
- Sally Randall, writing to Mormon friends from Nauvoo, Illinois, July 1, 1844
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(Introduction) Joseph Smith thought he was giving America two great gifts.
Just after midnight, four men cast a shallow-bottomed skiff into the roiled waters of the raging Mississippi.
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On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood. At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting the Church of Latter-Day Saints and creating his own 'Golden Bible'-the Book of Mormon-he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He'd led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for President. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women. In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: how his most seismic revelation-the doctrine of polygamy-created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride. Mormonism is America's largest and most enduring native religion, and the 'martyrdom' of Joseph Smith is one of its transformational events. Smith's brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history. American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.

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