Reader reviews and comments on Under the Banner of Heaven, plus links to write your own review.

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Under the Banner of Heaven

A Story of Violent Faith

by Jon Krakauer

Under the Banner of Heaven
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2003, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2004, 400 pages

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There are currently 45 reader reviews for Under the Banner of Heaven
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Anonymous (06/13/04)

interesting reading, coming from a non mormon in salt lake i find a lot of what he says top be fair and true. some anti-mormom books i read where very one sided whereas in this he gives a fair outllok.
Bob Jones (06/10/04)

I was not impressed with this book. I felt like he was trying to poke fun at things that shouldn't be poked fun at. I strongly disliked this book.
pete church (05/13/04)

This book dazzled me with its magic words.
JudahGirl (04/05/04)

I have just finished reading this book and have to say that it is quite the eye opener. I am a Christian who is very active in my faith and church. It is very interesting to see the inside of a cult, that proclaims to be God's one true Church. I don't propose to say that this book speaks for Mormons as a whole. However it mearly protrays them accurately as lost people. Jon Krakauer not only points out the events surrounding the horriffic murder of a woman and her child, but provides a history of the cult evolving into what is has become today. Definately not a book to be taken lightly.
L Kiss (03/06/04)

The Banner of Heaven. I have no disrespect for Jon especially the books "Into the wild" and also "Into thin Air" they were great books. But with " Banner of Heaven" I feel he is cutting up Mormon religion. Especially about the part of polagamy which was done many years ago, when this act was acceptable. Also he tries to say the murders were done in the spirit of the lord. I am sorry but this is not possible. Since these people did a evil act they must have had the devil inside them, because god does not possess people to kill, neither does the mormon religion. Nobody is perfect and everyone has fallen from time to time except Jesus Christ. I feel to pick on any religion or publish anything derogatory is not performance, to me that is hate literature.
Mark_Bledsoe (03/04/04)

An excellent read, that, when added to the news reports, paints a frightening image of some of the fringe groups of the LDS
Emily, 25 (01/30/04)

Once I started reading this book, I wasn't able to put it down until I reached the conclusion. Actually, that isn't entirely true. Every two pages or so, I had to stop reading long enough to bring my anger and disbelief over the blatantly misguided principles of the fundamentalist Mormon church under control. I can't even begin to understand how, in this day and age, our society can turn a blind eye to these people--people who foster illiteracy, polygamy, and child abuse as part of their "oh so holy" religion, government, and educational systems. Most of the FLDS communities in the United States and Canada survive almost solely on welfare and government funding, despite the fact that it seems to be common knowledge that polygamy and sexual abuse--both illegal in this country last time I checked--run rampant among the ranks.
It's ture that many followers of the FLDS religion don't support such practices, but at the same time they aren't trying real hard to stop others from doing so. And what about the 38 million or so members of the LDS church? Are they content to just sit back and pretend the fundamentalists don't exist--even though they claim to be the only true followers of the great Joseph Smith--and continue to deny any sort of responsibility for the rollercoaster of inequality and ignorance started by their precious martyr? Apparently it doesn't bother the LDS community--a group known for their devotion to educating their children often for the purpose of missionary work for those less fortunate than themselves--to know that there are followers of Joseph Smith who still believe it is their righteous and lawful duty to pull their 14-year-old daughters out of school and marry them off to some 45-year-old uncle who already has 4 wives and too many children to count. Do we really believe that a child raised to believe there is nothing worth learning past eigth grade, and that they will burn in hell if they don't succumb to the sexual desires of their elders, will ever have the opportunity to seek help and break the vicious cycle?
Obviously, my entry here is jaded by my anger over the fact that I have lived in this country for 25 years, and it wasn't until I read Jon Krakauer's book that my eyes were opened to the dark side of Mormonism--yes, Mormonism, that is in fact what the book is about--and I strongly suggest that anyone who isn't familiar with the history of religion in this country read Under the Banner of Heaven.
Cory (12/31/03)

As a fairly new convert to the lds church, I asked my mother to buy this book. The only one to join out of 8, being lds in the home is like David standing before Goliath. Under the Banner of Heaven is a remarkable book. I have always been intrigued with not only religion, but criminal law and the justice system. There is no doubt, mormon history is quiet colorful. As a very intrigued investigator of the fastest growing church in the world, "bookworm" was my nickname for a year straight. I knew already a lot of what Jon presented, however the grueling murders of the Lafferty's and misconstrude use of a "religious experience gone bad" is almost incoherently possible to percieve. However, when I bought the book I was looking for a bash of literealy mainstream mormons. Advertently, I kept running into all this fundamentalism practice. Basically, the lafferty's from what I understand and accumulated from the research and mind of the book, where excommunicated and consequently turned bitter towards the church. They had to find someway to get the "mormons" back and unforunately killing his brothers wife and daughter would shock the whole state. Furthermore, I gave the book a 3 because it seems well researched as far as the lafferty cases go, and even church "history". I bought the book in fear of finding something to turn me against the church, but actually it was a sad, riveting, and unfortunate morbid murders that kept me endelved in the book until i was at the end of it! Using lds scriptures to substaniate there motive is infallible. Yes, Nephi slayed Laban to get the Brass plates that contained the geanology of Lehi's forefathers, but brass plates that would effect the people as contained in the book, and killing someone because of your bitterness towards a people is consciencely different.

Truthfully,
Cory, 17, Tennessee

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