Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith Paperback – August 1, 1995
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From the Inside Flap
About the Author
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
It is not any easy book for a Mormon to read, as is evidenced by some of the reactionary attacks Brodie receives in some of the reviews already written. The faithful do not want to hear that Joseph Smith was an "evolutionary revolutionary," his doctrine growing with his ego and sense of personal magnificence. But this is no mean swipe at the character of Joseph Smith...if anything, you come away with a sense of awe at the creative genius, the charismatic giant that he must have been. If he brought scorn and violence upon himself and his people, it was a measure of the power he produced and the fear that he struck in lesser men with whom he shared his time and space. Nevertheless, Brodie's exploration of the world of Joseph Smith and the context within which his doctrine evolved is brilliant. She is adept at recognizing the role that projection has played throughout his career, beginning with the Book of Mormon, and continuing on through all of his other writings, including the History of the Church. Ms.Read more ›
Needless to say I was enthralled from the very beginning of the book. I found the book and the subject matter fascinating. I had expected the book to have a clear bias, but I felt Brodie presented the information very fairly and in a suprisingly unbiased way... oftentimes giving both perspectives and the information where both sides claims come from (i.e. she'll present people's claims that Joseph Smith was a moneydigger and occultist, and than show the court documents where he was on trial for doing so, and than she would show the other side's argument.).
In fact the only part of the book that I felt had a truly negative biased tone was the "afterword" that was added several years after the author's excommunication.
In the end though, I would have to say that the part I enjoyed most about the book was that it not only gave a detailed account of Joseph Smith, but of other church history figures such as Sidney Rigdon, Brigham Young, John D. Lee, etc. I felt like a picture of what life was like back then was painted.
Granted true blue Mormons will be offended when reading this book because they haven't heard anything but the filtered down version, AND they will gnash their teeth and bash on Fawn Brodie... BUT give her a break! It was the first biography of its kind and it was written in the 40's for heaven sakes. All the teeth gnashing looks ridiculous as if you're trying too hard to prove your obedience and faith.
A good product will sell itself, and this book has sold suprisingly well despite being restricted to a small fraction of the world who actually knows what a "mormon" or who "Joseph Smith" was. I enjoyed the book very much, thank you Fawn Brodie.
While Brodie is careful not to disparage Joseph Smith, she presents him as a human with normal inclinations and faults, and Mormons might not like to think of him in this way. In fact, the Mormon Church excommunicated her because of this book. She writes that the "major original premises of this biography was that Joseph Smith's assumption of the role of a religious prophet was an evolutionary process, that he began as a bucolic scryer, using the primitive techniques of the folklore of magic common to his area, most of which he discarded as he evolved into a preacher-prophet."
Brodie offers evidence showing that Joseph Smith began his career offering to help gullible farmers find buried fortunes on their land. He originally intended to compose a fictional novel about buried treasures but then altered it into a true account of a revelation delivered to him on golden plates in a foreign language with tools to translate them. Brodie discusses the belief that much of this Book of Mormon was plagiarized from another person's novel. Joseph Smith claimed that he had his first vision of God and Jesus, who had human forms because God was once human, in 1820 when he was fourteen. Brodie shows that this dating is "sheer invention...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Biography flawed by Brodie's attempt tp read Smith's mind, same approach in her Jefferson biography. Much better resource is Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling. Read morePublished 1 day ago by JLS
Joseph Smith is without question one of the most fascinating characters in American religious history- and world religious history. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Thomas C. Hamilton
Purchased this book to replace one I had years ago, lent out, and never got it back. I feel that Fawn Brodie did an excellent job in writing this book.Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is fiction written by an author who is hostile toward the religion of Joseph Smith.Published 1 month ago by Murraybob
This book was one of the most fascinating books I have ever read about early Mormon history and Joseph Smith. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Milhouse
This is a very well written history--well researched and documented. It has inspired me to write historical books too. Author doesn't appear biased to me.Published 1 month ago by Genesus
Excellent for anyone who would like to know the history of Joseph Smith and his church. Lots of photos and documents (and location where those documents can be found) long... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Juliette Trout
You want to learn about the biggest fraud in American history this is it.Published 2 months ago by Scott E. Vaughn