Saturday, December 23, 2006

Book Review: Under the Banner of Heaven

December 23, 2006

Somehow I missed writing a review of this book by Jon Krakauer back in the summer. Of course this review isn't fresh since it's been several months since I read the book, but it was rivetting. The primary story that Krakauer tells involves the grisly murders of a young mother and her child by two brothers who believe that God ordered them to commit the murders. The deeper story is of the shadowy world of Mormon fundamentalism, which is all too often mistaken for the LDS church. While the LDS Church declared polygamy illegal in 1890, fundamentalists considered this apostasy and broke off to live a more "righteous" life. Fundamentalist sects headed to secluded areas in Colorado, Mexico, the northwest, and Canada to form communities of polygamists that still exist today (and make national news once or twice a year). This is a bone-chilling book for the crime aspect, and an excellent portrayal of the strange world of the polygamist communities.

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