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Porter Rockwell: A Biography Hardcover – November 30, 2006


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Porter Rockwell: A Biography + Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder + The Porter Rockwell Chronicles, Vol. 4
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 593 pages
  • Publisher: Stratford Books; First Edition edition (November 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929753232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929753232
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The best book of several written on Porter Rockwell." Duaine Hiatt, This People Magazine

"The writing is slick and the pace is fast. Dewey has done his homework." Deseret Morning News

"Riveting reading." - Gannett Newspapers (owner of USA Today)

"4 Stars: Excellent." West Coast Review of Books

"Masterfully written." Dr. Fred R. Gowns, Professor of History, Brigham Young University

"Remarkable . . . engaging." Dr. John A. Schultz, Professor of History, University of Southern California

"Superlative work." James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

"An intriguing trip." Broox Sledge, columnist, The Book World

"An extraordinary mix of faith and firepower. Well-researched." Dr. Walter Nugent, Professor of History, Notre Dame University

"Valuable." Tim H. Blessing, Department of History, Penn State University


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
This is certainly an excellent book, well written and well documented.
Dona Grant
The Mormons here like to make him out to be a hero of sorts but I think that he was not all that they say.
Lee A. Ammons
This is very difficult to read, and does little besides give a collection of myths.
bixodoido

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Terrance V. Mc Arthur on February 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If half the stories about Orrin Porter Rockwell were true, he would have had to have been a dozen men: half of them angels of righteousness and half of them devils of infernal darkness. Whatever you think of him, you have to admit he was quite a character.
When I first read Richard Lloyd Dewey's book, I thought it was merely a rehash of Harold Schindler's "Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder." Of course, both authors were writing about the same man. As I compared the books, however, I found that Schindler was more likely to repeat claims of writers who were out to "expose" the evil of Mormonism, while Dewey pointed out the inconsistencies, implausibilities, and impossibilities of some long-repeated legends surrounding Orrin Porter Rockwell (such as non-Mormons he was said to have killed in the Salt Lake Valley when he was in California and there were no Non-LDS whites in the valley, yet).
Some reviews fault Dewey for including parts of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that don't feature Rockwell as a major player; the background information is essential for understanding the events of Old Port's life, and it was a lively life.
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful By bixodoido on August 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is a poor, almost fictional attempt to chronicle the life of the infamous Orrin Porter Rockwell. While I'm sure Dewey's intentions were good, he did a bad job of presenting History.
His subject was a difficult one, Rockwell having left no diary. In addition, there are a few undetailed accounts of him in the official History of the Church to which he belonged. Most of the rest is speculation. Despite this lack of evidence, Dewey assumes that he knows Porter's mind and emotions on all occasions. How could he know that something "turned Porter's stomach" or "hit close to home" if Rockwell never left a journal?
Most of his biography is speculation. The bulk of the work is actually a brief overview of the history of the Mormon church, and Dewey just inserts Rockwell wherever he wants to. For example, he tells the story of a group of Mormons who, in 1838, went out to defend their Missouri homes. Dewey just assumes Porter was there, and says he was "probably riding at their head."
Toward the end of Rockwell's life, firsthand accounts of him become few and far between. In order to deal with this, Dewey simply lumps together all accounts and legends of Rockwell with no consistency or continuity whatsoever. The stories jump around, and each paragraph is an entirely new subject. This is very difficult to read, and does little besides give a collection of myths.
This book gets two stars because of Dewey's obvious sincerity. He is not a historian by trade, and it shows. His subject is a difficult one to write about, and Dewey managed to chronicle his life with some accuracy (despite all the speculation). If you want to read an interesting tale/legend about one of the most heroic Western lawmen, read this book. Just don't expect much in the way of historical accuracy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dona Grant on May 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Porter Rockwell; a biography is a must have for anyone interested in the history of the LDS church and, more specifically, Porter Rockwell, the man. There is a lot of church history included in this book, however, Porter Rockwell's life evolved during the tumultuous early years of the restored church, so this history is vital to understanding Rockwell as a man, and why he did and said the things he did. The history is not dry at all, however. It is told with such vivid detail as to make the book all the more difficult to put down!
This is certainly an excellent book, well written and well documented.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J Clawson on April 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book relates to the real life of Porter Rockwell not just the legend.

Well researched and written
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ty Wilde on March 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I just read all 4 volumes of "The Porter Rockwell Chronicles" and then went on to this one. Porter Rockwell is one of the most interesting people I've ever read about and his relationship with Joseph Smith I find so interesting. I have read nearly everything I could find about Porter Rockwell and I just feel like I can't get enough. He was such an amazing and crazy guy. You need to read all of these books!!!

Ty Wilde
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I can't put this book down! Dewey does an excellent job of placing the reader back in time as he develops the amazing story that is the coming about and triumph over the persecutions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because there is little written about Rockwell, Dewey does a traffic job of taking the reader through the church's history through church archives and journals describing how Rockwell was present at many important events loved by members of the church. I give it 4 stars and say it is a must read for those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for those who would like to know more.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David C. Bennion on May 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought it years ago and loved it. Use it as a reference in my lessons (where appropriate)...like it so much I bought a copy for my neighbor who is also a Porter Rockwell fan. Highly recommend it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elaine on January 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author is one I enjoy reading. He weaves an interesting story and one sees the human side of a man with a reputation of violence. The subject of the book was a modern day Samson!
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