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Short Synopsis
Noted journalist Alex Beam examines the fall of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, and its effect in American history.

Full Synopsis
On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood.

At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting the Church of Latter-Day Saints and creating his own "Golden Bible"—the Book of Mormon—he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He'd led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for President. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women.

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.

"Michael Pritchard does an excellent job of relaying the complexities of Beam's fine writing and Smith's pride. This fascinating portrait of one of America's self-proclaimed prophets is well worth the time of anyone interested in religious or American history." ---Library Journal Audio Review

American Crucifixion

The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church

Author Alex Beam

Narrated by Michael Prichard

Publication date Apr 22, 2014

Running time 10 hrs 13 min

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