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Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer

God Told Me to Kill You

A review by Doug Brown

On July 24, 1984, two fundamentalist Mormon brothers brutally murdered their sister-in-law and her baby girl, believing they were fulfilling a revelation that one of the brothers had received from God. Today they reside in federal prisons. The older brother, Ron (who had the revelation), is on death row and following every avenue for appeal. The younger brother, Dan, is serving a life sentence and seems okay with it (Krakauer says he refers to prison as a "monastery"). Krakauer spoke to Dan for the book, but not Ron. Under the Banner of Heaven tells in parallel the story of the Lafferty brothers and their descent into fundamentalism alongside the history of the Mormon Church.

The modern Mormon Church is quick to distance itself from fundamentalists; most are excommunicated from the Latter-Day Saint (LDS) community. The church downplays the history of plural marriage (polygamy) in Mormonism, to the point of maintaining that Brigham Young was monogamous (history says otherwise...



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Elmer McCurdy: The Misadventure in Life and Afterlife of an American Outlaw by Mark Svenvold

Sayonara, Gangsters by Genichiro Takahashi

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

Dreaming at the Gates of Fury: New and Selected Poems by Alexander Taylor

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith (Plus) by Barbara Brown Taylor

Craphound No. 6: Death, Telephones & Scissors by Sean Tejaratchi

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

How To Be Your Dogs Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners by The Monks of New Skete

Boob Jubilee: The Cultural Politics of the New Economy by Thomas Frank and Dave Mulcahey

Blankets: An Illustrated Novel by Craig Thompson

Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won't Do by Gabriel Thompson

After Dark, My Sweet (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Jim Thompson

The Book of Revelation: A Novel by Rupert Thomson

Walden and Civil Disobedience (Penguin American Library) by Henry David Thoreau

Haunted Houses by Lynne Tillman

The Flying Troutmans Signed 1st Edition by Miriam Toews

Lord of the Rings Boxed 3 Volumes by J R R Tolkien

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine

Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller

Mind Hacks: Tips and Tricks for Using Your Brain (O'Reilly's Hacks Series) by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb

The Poems of Georg Trakl by Georg Trakl

The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems by Tomas Transtromer

Buddhism through American Women's Eyes by Karma Lekshe Tsomo

Innocent by Scott Turow

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant

Jean Vanier: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters) by Jean Vanier

Chris Verene by Chris Verene

Lamb Bright Saviors (Flyover Fiction) by Robert Vivian

The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment by Anne Waldman

The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print by David Wallis

Damned Fools in Utopia: And Other Writings on Anarchism and War Resistance by Nicolas Walter

Gorgon: Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History by Peter Ward

Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us about Our Future by Peter D. Ward

McSweeney's Quarterly Concern Issue 13 by Chris Ware

Asta in the Wings by Jan Elizabeth Watson

Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System by Sharon Waxman

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner

The World without Us by Alan Weisman

Travels with Barley: A Journey through Beer Culture in America by Ken Wells

Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don't Think for Themselves by Curtis White

John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead

Eisner/Miller by Will Eisner and Frank Miller

Ill Nature by Joy Williams

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman

Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF by April Winchell

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

The Voice of Matthew (The Voice Series) by Lauren Winner

An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs Mysteries) by Jacqueline Winspear

Fierce People by Dirk Wittenborn

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook by Paula Wolfert

Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean by Douglas Wolk

The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down by Colin Woodard

Nog by Rudolph Wurlitzer

Do Animals Think? by Clive D L Wynne

Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People by Toby Young

The Chronology of Water: A Memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch

The New Physics & Cosmology: Dialogues with the Dalai Lama by Arthur Zajone

America the Beautiful by Moon Unit Zappa

Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror by Jason Zinoman

Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-Up in the 1970s Changed America by Richard Zoglin


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