Jon Krakauer, Anchor Books, 2004
[Somehow un-posted, now reposted. Written 23 January 2009]
“Science flies men to the moon, religion flies airplanes into skyscrapers” goes one of the more inflammatory Atheist slogans. And indeed, this is the kind of book that inspires Atheists, convinces non-Mormons that Mormonism is a dangerous cult, and feeds into the persecution complex fostered by the Church of Latter Day Saints.
Krakauer traces the history of the Church and its founders, and shows how one path of interpretation reaches its logical conclusion in what an outsider would identify as a complete psychic break and murder. It’s disturbing, frightening, and quite readable.