The following is a paper I wrote a few years ago in a history class about Joseph Smith from Grant Underwood at BYU.
Released in 2005, Richard L. Bushman’s Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling has been hailed by many as the definitive biography of the Mormon founder. It is only natural, then, to put the book in the ring with Fawn M. Brodie’s classic, No Man Knows My History—without question the most famous, and controversial, biography of Joseph Smith to date. In this paper I compare the two biographies according to four criteria: (1) key similarities and differences, (2) characterization of Joseph’s personality, (3) coverage of key events, and (4) interpretation of teachings and doctrine. (more…)
Filed under: History, Mormon Doctrine | Tagged: biography, Book of Mormon, Fawn Brodie, First Vision, History, Joseph Smith, Knopf, Mormon Doctrine, No Man Knows My History, plural marriage, plurality of gods, prophets, psychobiography, Richard Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, Scripture, Theology | 29 Comments »