In the revised edition of her pioneering Joseph Smith biography, No Man Knows My History (Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), Fawn M. Brodie suggested that Smith's personality matches psychoanalyst Phyllis Greenacre's "imposter" profile, but cautioned that a "comprehensive clinical portrait" would require a qualified psychologist with a "much more intimate knowledge of the man than is presently possible" (p. xi). Now Robert D. Anderson, M.D., "a Semi-retired psychiatrist," has come forward with just such a portrait, based upon almost three decades of historical and psychoanalytical research since Brodie first applied Greenacre to Smith. Anderson's argument is that Greenacre's "imposter" is a species of narcissism, and he offers both a fascinating reading of the Book of Mormon and new research into Smith's life and times to show that Smith fits a narcissistic profile. The result is about as close to Brodie's "comprehensive clinical portrait" as historical sources and psychological research are likely to get. --Gary Topping, Journal of the West
About the Author
Robert D. Anderson, M.D., is a semi-retired psychiatrist in private practice whose studies at the Psychoanalytic Institute stimulated his interest in applied psychoanalysis. He is a contributor to The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith and has published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and in the American Journal of Psychiatry. He and his wife live in Bellevue, Washington.