Under the Banner of Heaven

A Story of Violent Faith

Jon Krakauer     2004     432     5 x 8

Krakauer takes us inside isolated American communities where some 40,000 Mormon Fundamentalists still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these theocracies are zealots who answer only to God. At the core of the book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he documents the birth and growth of America’s fastest growing religion, some of its most extreme off-shoots and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.

$2-10

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