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The Fastest Growing Religion on Earth: How Genealogy Captured the Brains and Imaginations of Americans by [Bremner, Doug]
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3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Length: 184 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Physician, professor, researcher, writer and filmmaker from Atlanta, Georgia. dougbremner.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 650 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Laughing Cow Books; 1 edition (April 11, 2013)
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CBWV1TO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,539,304 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title is a little misleading as this book is not about religion, but more about a growing obsession and passion for genealogy. I have spent about twelve years researching my genealogy, but I have always found that it is difficult to be interested in someone else's history. Fortunately, Douglas Bremner is an excellent writer, and he has the ability to draw the reader into his story.

I found it a little difficult to follow at times, but then I find it hard to follow my research when it gets a few generations back. This is not a recitation of names and places, but a real story of the history of this family and the struggle in finding information about a broken family. I enjoyed reading about his method of finding and connecting with people for whom he hoped would hold the key to his story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely adored this book. I couldn't put it down until I'd finished reading the Bremner adventure! Then again, I'm the genealogist in my family group so I suppose we all love hearing about the great hunts that others have been on during their research. It was interesting to read for me because your research was so different than mine - more hands on, contacting so many people directly. I don't know that I would feel comfortable with that, but it was certainly a great story!
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Format: Kindle Edition
First off I would like to thank Momma Says Read for providing the giveaway in which I won this. Second, Thanks to the author for offering his book as a prize.

When I first got this book I was actually excited, hoping to learn more about genealogy. What I got was mostly a personal account of the authors personal history. While there were some interesting bits even in that, it was not what I was hoping for.

Overall, the book is as vague as the summary. It touches a bit on how genealogy is so popular and obsessive by some, it compares to and seems cultish and religious. The book starts off about how Mormons collect records of birth, marriage, death, etc of every person they can. Then goes into mentioning his own experience a bit mentioning some sites he used. Then back to Mormons, then we jump into his personal conquest of his lineage. All in the same chapter! I would have felt much more at ease with it if the book was done differently. Maybe broken up the book, the first chapter or 2 about genealogy in general. The next several chapters can be his own experience then give websites, experts etc. It is so heavily mixed. One minute I feel like I am reading a memoir, the next a few paragraphs of an index. His experience isn't covered in order either. IT seems to work in flashbacks at times.

So ultimately, very badly organized. It would have been better to either write this as a memoir or break it up into sections. Too much crossing over for me.

If you want to read about the authors family history read this book. If you are looking to learn about genealogy and how to learn your own, this isn't very helpful.
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Format: Paperback
I wish this had been better. It included so much tangential detail (told through lengthy email exchanges) about his process of discovery, I lost interest. Because I care about genealogy, I kept reading anyway. I was puzzled by his offhand, subtle misrepresentations of Mormon theology (I wasn't aware Mormons claim that Jesus came to Utah -- and I'm seventh-generation Mormon). His representation of Mormon records preservation indicated that Mormons "hoard" the records. Well, if spending billions of dollars microfilming, digitizing, indexing, and making records available for free on the Web is "hoarding," then the author needs a better dictionary. Preservation and dissemination are not hoarding.

Considering the odd hobbies that people take up, it seems curious that a psychiatrist is so troubled to find himself immersed in a project. He assumes that, driven by their theology, millions of Mormons are equally immersed. Sadly, most Mormons don't do much genealogy research, even with so many free records at their disposal. Millions of non-Mormons, however, do seem to care a lot about genealogy. Is their "obsession" an addiction any more than someone who loves bowling is addicted? Or someone who loves boats or golf? Or reading mysteries? Part of the author's loosey-goosey thinking is to make big assumptions, such as comparing an interest in genealogy to an actual addiction (such as addiction to tobacco). Another assumption is that Mormons do genealogy because their theology dictates it. Apparently no amount of guilt and no threats of eternal fire are sufficient to engage some Mormons in genealogy.

He seems to define genealogy as a religion merely because of the Mormon connection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another fascinating adventure by this author with great attention to detail, a unique sense of humor and a compelling way of writing about both himself and his topic. I am not a student of genealogy and haven't yet wandered to "ancestry.com" or similar sites but I know many people involved in this hobby/addiction. If I was such a student, I would have been even more intrigued by this book (and I was still intrigued anyway), especially by the many passages containing the author's email exchanges & telephone conversations with strangers, some turning out to be distance cousins. There are also family trees going back in history for 100s of years and plenty of genealogy reference materials provided with their internet addresses. I finished this book in a couple days and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are a few very minor typos but I'll pass those on via email. This book is unbelievably impressive and shines a light on a mostly hidden past time. I especially appreciated the keen insight into the desire and need to keep looking for answers in the past about missing chunks of family, how and why a person becomes an adoptive child, how others are impacted and, separate from whether two people have actual "family" connections, how their stories still matter.

Read this book. If you are interested in or, even better, already involved in genealogy, read this book NOW! If you have any connections to Washington State, Spokane, Olympia, Reardon, Four Lakes or points in between you are also bound to like the local flavor the author's journey includes. This is a story of the search for meaning in public records of all kinds: birth, death, adoption, census, obituaries, cemetery markers, etc. leading to connections with real people and, ultimately, real family members.
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