American Crucifixion, by Alex Beam

There are no heroes in Alex Beam’s tale of the killing of Mormon founder Joseph Smith.

Cover Story


Essential books

An annotated list by the author of Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction.


Killer ‘saints’

The history of the American heartland sometimes appears as little more than a bloody farrago of killing which, in the God-soaked vocabulary of the perpetrators, must be understood not as murder, but as something inevitable and even holy. This tradition persists long after the Native American resistance to European settlers was put down by settlers and soldiers certain of providential favor.