Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith Hardcover – 1 Jul 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

See all 23 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
Hardcover
£16.88 £0.01
click to open popover

Special offers and product promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books; 1 edition (1 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385509510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385509510
  • Product Dimensions: 16.9 x 3.2 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 924,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Amazon Review

Under the Banner of Heaven is a riveting read. The Lafferty boys were brought up in a squeaky clean All-American family. So what made two of them follow revelations from God to slit the throat of their ex-beauty queen sister-in-law and her infant daughter? The problem was that they got involved in the fundamentalist, survivalist wing of the Mormon Church.

Author Jon Krakauer expertly jumps from the immediate horror of the Lafferty boys to the context of Mormonism and the wider questions of religious violence. In the process we are taken on a house of horrors ride through the badlands of fundamentalist Mormon religion. Krakauer introduces us to red necks with more than 30 "wives"--many who were "married" in their early teens. It's a story of fraud, child abuse, incest, physical violence and spiritual and emotional rape at a deep level.

The contemporary story is lurid and shocking, but as Krakauer relates the picaresque story of Joseph Smith--the founder of the Mormon religion--you realise that present day fundamentalist Mormons are far closer to their founder in spirit and behaviour than the more squeaky clean manifestations of modern Mormonism. This well researched and tightly written account gives a great potted history of Mormonism and illuminates the psychotic fringes of religious mentality. In doing so it reveals the wild dangers of spiritual free wheeling and the need for caution and restraint in religion. --Dwight Longenecker

From the Inside Flap

Jon Krakauer’s literary reputation rests on insightful chronicles of lives conducted at the outer limits. In UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN, he shifts his focus from extremes of physical adventure to extremes of religious belief within our own borders. At the core of his book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this “divinely inspired” crime, Krakauer constructs a multilayered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, 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.

Krakauer takes readers inside isolated communities in the American West, Canada, and Mexico, where some forty-thousand Mormon Fundamentalists believe the mainstream Mormon Church went unforgivably astray when it renounced polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the leaders of these outlaw sects are zealots who answer only to God. Marrying prodigiously and with virtual impunity (the leader of the largest fundamentalist church took seventy-five “plural wives,” several of whom were wed to him when they were fourteen or fifteen and he was in his eighties), fundamentalist prophets exercise absolute control over the lives of their followers, and preach that any day now the world will be swept clean in a hurricane of fire, sparing only their most obedient adherents.

Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism’s violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism. The result is vintage Krakauer, an utterly compelling work of nonfiction that illuminates an otherwise confounding realm of human behavior.

See all Product description


Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

16 May 2018
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
29 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
5 people found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
12 February 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
31 May 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
16 October 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
9 December 2014
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
17 October 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful
|Comment|Report abuse
3 December 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

Would you like to see more reviews about this item?

Most recent customer reviews

Where's My Stuff?

Delivery and Returns

Need Help?