No Man Knows My History
He had his faults, including a tendency to overreach his power and try to influence state and national government. Brodie does not have the last word on it. Instead, she digs deep into newspaper archives, personal letters, first-hand accounts, property documents, diaries and court filings. One as a believer and one a non-believer. Where many writings about him are propaganda intended either to promote or crush faith, her agenda was to understand the man.
No Man Knows My History The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn M. Brodie
This is an older book, and still very relevant! But that's another story, one which Brodie hints at but does not tell. But he was a great leader, showed love to everyone, preferred peace over war, developed some amazing theological ideas, and left a lasting impact on human history.
She was the niece of Church President David O. Some members of the Church felt she used her implicit connections with Church leadership to access information and Church records which would otherwise have been off limits. He was a natural born leader, an unruly youth prone to money digging and tall tales, and a prodigiously charis Finally! Mormons were a huge voting bloc and swayed elections in Missouri and Illinois.
As a starting point I confess I am somewhere on the order of a seventh generation member of the Church Joseph Smith founded. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. It was refreshing and fascinating to read a fair account of Joseph Smith and the early history of his church. Writing history is a subjective experience, anybody looking for objective truth from historical biography might as well stick to reading his or her bible.
Fawn Brodie is carefully to present the information as is and rarely places her own judgment, leaving it to the reader to decide on Joseph Smith's mindset and character. Cover of the first edition.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The author did a wonderful job on this biography, and she gave all her references that I will be looking further into. It is well sourced and extremely thorough, as well as engaging and only minimally challenging to follow the thick history.
Polygamy was seriously messed up, at least the way it was introduced and practiced. As his following grew late in his life, Smith's confidence grew, too, and he did not leave his final settlement fast enough. Nevertheless, avoidance of thorny issues does not eliminate those areas from historical existence.
Bushman's book is good too, but seems too concerned with putting Joseph in the right light. He was a natural born leader, an unruly youth prone to money digging and tall tales, and a prodigiously charismatic leader. But since they made no claims to supernatural experiences, she grants them validity with out questioning their biases. Just a wonderful piece of work.
While I do not recommend No Man Knows My History, I also do not believe it is likely to do serious harm to anyone with an intellectual bent who is also well-grounded in the Latter-day Saint faith. He uses Brodie's sources and many others as well to paint a fuller more realistic history. Nevertheless, Brodie's book has been criticized by some scholars, most often for its speculative interpretations of early Mormon history and its presumptions about Smith's internal motivation. Although I understand the importance of teaching faith promoting history, ccna todd lammle 7th edition this account shows a more accurate history of the life and times surrounding the early church and the prophet. But it is a version of Joseph Smith that a non-Mormon can process and conforms to the standard anti-Mormon propagandized caricature that is popularly accepted.
There's hardly a paragraph in the book that, if opened to at random, wouldn't seize the reader's attention, and then hold it. People do take it seriously because there's much more to the story if one is willing to look beyond Joseph's enemies in order to understand the man.
Because of her relationship to David O. But I do not find the subject to be any more troubling here than it is in other works dealing with Mormon history. Despite her own religious skepticism, she seemed to have a real affection for Joseph Smith and his people. If you're interested in the life of Smith in a non-relgious sense, you might also enjoy the Cremaster cycle by Matthew Barney.
Also, there's a whole sub-genre of Mormon true crime. But if you can forgive him the polygamy thing, it seems like Joseph was really a great guy. Incredibly well researched, great mix of general sweep and specific detail and anecdote, very readable. There are so many things to say about this gem. Lastly, Brodie's prose is impeccable.
There is nothing to fear from truth. Both books were informative and provided information that would have been lacking had I read only one of the books. The result is an extremely skewed and unrealistic view of Joseph Smith.
But by the end, I was either got used to it or she wasn't so obnoxious. She certainly didn't pull any punches when saying what she thought and when deciding whether or not she should include a source. This hubris, as well as many political missteps, led Smith and his anointed inner circle down paths that outraged the non-Mormons around them. She just simply doesn't believe that he had a relationship with God and therefore has to explain the origins of all his ideas and his motives. For any student of history and religion, this book is a gem.
Granted, Brodie didn't have access to the tools available that Criddle et al have today, and I suspect if she did, she would have greatly appreciated and accepted it. That doesn't detract from the excellence of the book. Brodie completely dismisses the Spaulding-Rigdon theory for the origin of the Book of Mormon. And as these men grew powerful they began, in secret, to marry many, many women, and develop religious underpinnings for these practices. The only other people that talked about Joseph Smith hated him.
However, she does so in a manner that allows the reader the liberty to draw inferences in accordance with their own conscience. Too bad, because I put off reading this one far too long. The portrait of Joseph Smith resounds with depth, nuance, and warmth. This was the first book I ever read following my discovery of the hoax behind Mormonism.
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