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No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith Paperback – August 1, 1995
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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.
- Unparalleled detail into Joseph Smith's life, personality and death.
- Well sourced and very easy to corroborate sources.
- Decades later still the most honest source on JS.
- Many mormons will avoid this book because they believe it is "anti" literature. What a shame to skip such a profound work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Engaging read backed up by proper documentation. A great supplement and pre-read to this work is the CES Letter... Read morePublished 6 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I have purchased and handed out MANY copies of this book. Very well researched.Published 1 day ago by Nicholas Staron
Filled with unfounded conjecture, NMKMH, while whitty and well written, is not a historical work. Brodie conveniently excludes sources which conflict with, or discredit her most... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Anon
I consider this book to be the "definitive biography of Joseph Smith". The author, Professor Ms. Fawn Brodie has chosen a "tongue in cheek" title. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Westernflyer
When a Mormon girl joined our school when I was in the fifth grade, I became curious about Mormonism, though never enough to read much about it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by R. M. Peterson
I never have had a non fiction book grab my attention and hold it as well as this one. I did not want it to end. It is well documented, and it is fair and objective. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andrew G
The "official" story of Joseph Smith from the Mormon church is more blanks than it is story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kevin Lacy
Objective and factual. All information was backed up with sources both inside and outside of the Mornon church. Read morePublished 3 months ago by hoopmomof3
Good book, more people should read it instead of being "sheep". (I come from Utah)Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer