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Salt Lake Tribune view: Truth trumps accuracy in 'Under Banner of Heaven'

July 31 2003 at 11:35 AM
Ken Akerman  (no login)

Response to Jon Kraukauer's Latest Book Has Nothing To Do With Mountains (Utah Mormon Murder)


Jon Krakauer has made some factual errors in Under the Banner of Heaven and has structured his narrative to imply connections that can't be supported. But on the whole, he has written a gutsy book.

Because truth trumps accuracy and courage is more important than pleasing readers, Under the Banner should be read by anyone hoping to understand if there is a causal connection between Mormon history and the violence associated with oddball polygamist cults.

People predisposed to be defensive to criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are unlikely to appreciate the nuances of Krakauer's argument. He does not, for example, argue that violence in the early history of the LDS Church makes violence in contemporary polygamist cults inevitable. But he does present a portrait in which the present is the sum of all that is past.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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