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Publisher's Summary

The most important reformer and innovator in American religious history, Joseph Smith has remained a fascinating enigma to many, both inside and outside the Mormon Church he founded. Born in 1805, Smith grew up during the "Second Great Awakening", when secular tumult had spawned radical religious fervor and countless new sects. His contemplative nature and soaring imagination were nurtured in the close, loving family created by his deeply devout parents. His need to lead and be recognized was met by his mission as God's vehicle for a new faith and by the hundreds who, magnetized by his charm and charismatic preaching, gave rise to the Mormon Church. Remini's vital portrait contextualizes Smith's enduring contribution to American life and culture within the distinctive characteristics of an extraordinary age.
©2002 Robert V. Remini; (P)2002 Books on Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Impressive scholarship with a riveting narrative." (The New York Review of Books)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Jay Kuykendall on 09-18-07


Love him or hate him, you'll find yourself bored. He presents information more or less neutrally, but this presentation also lacks any of the personalization needed to suceed. Perhaps the narrator might share some of the blame, but it's hard to imagine making an intensely debated historical figure intensely, painfully boring.

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15 of 19 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By J on 01-06-05

Joseph Smith (Unabridged)

Whether or not you like Joseph Smith, I think you'll find this book somewhat lacking. If you are LDS and believe Joseph Smith is a true Prophet of God, you'll be disappointed in how skeptical the author is; given his knowledge, background, and the wealth of information he was given for his book. Conversely, if you think Joseph Smith was a pretender and liar; you'll be disappointed in the author's care of Joseph's history and the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The author misses the point that the works of Joseph Smith comprise the keystone of one of the fastest growing Churchs in the world; thus you cannot ride the fence on Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon; he was either a Prophet or a liar and the Book of Mormon is either a book of God or a book of satan. If you are seeking a definitive characterization of Joseph Smith because you want to know the truth about Joseph, you'll not find it in this book. The author is all over the playing field trying to cover both sides of his issue.

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82 of 107 people found this review helpful

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