Under the Banner of Heaven - Jon Krakauer

Under the Banner of Heaven

Artist Jon Krakauer

  • Release Date: 2003-07-15
  • Genre: True Crime
Score: 4
From 277 Ratings


This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God.

At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.


  • Under the banner of heaven

    By JoeyWar[S.E.M.]
    I was raised in a devout Mormon home. My dad was bishop and on the high council. I hid in shame and darkness, because I could not live what I was taught to be a worthy and holy life. I was excommunicated at 18 years old when I confessed of many sexual relations. I admit I have contempt for this religion. I felt shamed and abandoned by it. The scars it left will be with me the rest of my life. For me, this book showed the untruthful origins of this religion. It was started by a con-man; and sex addict. He contrived what he called prophecy, to not only excuse, but glorify his compulsiveness with sex, and affairs with multiple women. I believe this church is cursed with the demon of sexual addition, and runs rampant, although most of the time hidden with-in the church. Both mainline and fundamentalism. Well researched book, I appreciate Jons work.
  • Great, accurate read. Best of author.

    By Ashmai
    Being raised in the LDS church, I found this extremely informative. Great read.
  • The Best Book Ever Written About Mormons.

    By BookCliffsHistoryBuff
    I have lived in Utah for thirty-five years, and I have been a practicing attorney for twenty-seven years. I was married to a BYU-educated woman, the daughter of a Bishop and Stake Relief Society President, for ten years. I currently represent two woman who are seeking relief from abusive Mormon men, including one case pending in American Fork, where the Lafferty saga climaxed. This is by far the best, and most accurate, book ever written about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and it's various schisms. And it is the only book that accurately examines the Mormon church in the wider context of religious experience and motivation. In addition, the book is well written and captivating.
  • Unfair

    By DPhipps3
    I am not sure what the author's issue with this religion is but it is clearly a biased and misrepresented case being presented. Everything I have investigated shows that the polygamist offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is completely unaffiliated with that church. I understand that there are people who don't like the Mormon religion and a LOT of misleading things are said about them. it's unfortunate that the author has used his dislike for religion to attack one by the use of a tragic story of two mentally unstable people. Not quite a legitimate situation to draw broad conclusions from. I think this book is a classic attack, uninformative, and unfair. But if you hate Mormons and aren't looking for legitimate explanation than you might enjoy this literary experience.
  • Great read

    By McLoveday
    Haunting and informative. I don't know how I came across this book, but once I started reading I could not put it down.