American Crucifixion

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Product Code: XB352
Title: American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church
Author: Alex Beam
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Price: $17.00
Date: 2014
Pages: 334
Additional Info: Paperback Edition


From back cover:

On June 27, 1844, in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois, Joseph Smith and three of his associates waited anxiously in a jail cell. The dynamic founding prophet of Mormonism no longer had a congregation to preach to: now the mob outside his window carried muskets and cartridge belts. All that stood between Smith and this murderous crowd was a thin wooden door.

In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation—the doctrine of polygamy—created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride.

Mormonism is America's largest and most enduring native religion, and the "martyrdom" of Joseph Smith is one of its transformational events. Smith's brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history. American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.

Table of Contents

Cast of Characters
Place Names

  1. Flight

Part One
In Illinois we've found a safe retreat...

  1. King Joseph
  2. Zion, Illinois
  3. Everybody Hates the Mormons
  4. Polygamy and Its Discontents

Part Two
Oh! Illinois! thy soil has drank the blood / Of Prophets martyr'd for the truth of God.

  1. “The Perversion of Sacred Things”
  2. “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
  3. Enter Pontius Pilate
  4. Surrender
  5. “The People Are Not That Cruel”
  6. Joseph's Homecoming
  7. Trial by Jury

Part Three
Let us go to the far western shore / Where the blood-thirsty ‘christians’ will hunt us no more.

  1. Aftermath
  2. This World and the Next


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