Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven (MacMillan: London 2003)
I get a little nervous when I read a genuinely skillful writer covering the big issues of life. A talented writer can make almost anything readable, but it takes a lot of mental integrity to make a subject interesting and not use the same talents to put forward an impressively persuasive reflection of one's biases. George Orwell managed it, and so did Anthony Daniels. Andrew Roberts probably missed the mark, and Arthur Bryant didn't even try. This doubt is what made me read this book with a large pinch of salt.
|Image from Amazon|
|Ron and Dan Lafferty (Image from here)|
This book, then, is a problem. The Lafferty murders are indisputably interesting to write about. They also can't really be understood apart from their religious context. But as readable as it is, one is left with the strong feeling that a great many good people are being done a disservice.