Under the Banner of Heaven - Jon Krakauer

Under the Banner of Heaven

By Jon Krakauer

  • Release Date: 2003-07-15
  • Genre: True Crime
4 Score: 4 (From 381 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.
  • An eye opener

    By Jerry_Dog
    If there's still any doubt that religion is inherently foolish, this book may finally put such doubts to rest.
  • Great, accurate read. Best of author.

    By Ashmai
    Being raised in the LDS church, I found this extremely informative. Great read.
  • Wow!

    By Mrs.Quack
    The only thing I could say about this book was it was the most fascinating thing I have ever read. Being in only seventh grade, I devoured this book in only one week. Even though it was a little fist clenching at sometimes, it was impossible to put it down. I have read Krakauer's other books, this one is my all-time favorite.
  • 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.
  • A captivating read!

    By Mountain max
    I am a huge fan of Krakauer, and I regard a few of his books to be some of my all time favorites. This book gave a great insight into Mormanism. It was unpleasant and disturbing at times, but also incredibly intriguing and fascinating!
  • 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.
  • What!!!!!!!!!

    By baysky
    A convicted fraud tells you he deciphered the Book of Mormon with "special glasses" from "Golden Tablets" that disappeared after he finished the book of Mormon. Millions of people build their lives and deaths around it unquestioningly. Am I missing something? Can you say cult?
  • 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.
  • A really good read.

    By mrtorian
    Great insight into a modern American religion and it's terrible offspring.