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In 1823 a young man named Joseph Smith had an encounter with an angel who led him to a cache of golden plates purporting to be the history of the lost tribes of Israel. Out of these new gospels—and out of Smith’s own charismatic personality and sense of mission—arose an authentically American religion, the Mormon faith. But did Joseph Smith transcribe divine revelations or invent a faith from whole cloth? Was he a genuine prophet or a gifted fabulist who became enthralled by the products of his imagination—and ended up being martyred for them?
First published in 1945 and substantially revised in 1970, No Man Knows My History is a model of the biographer’s art by a writer who would later become famous for her study of Thomas Jefferson. It is at once scholarly, riveting, and provocative in the questions in raises about Smith’s revelations, and, in doing so, provides a remarkable history of the early Mormon church.
“Mrs. Brodie’s book is more than readable; it is a significant contribution to an understanding of America’s past.” —Los Angeles Times
“Distinguished in its viewpoint, the richness and suppleness of its prose, and its narrative power.” —Saturday Review