Book Recommendation, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith

Book Recommendation, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith

Another way of looking at history

Robert D. Anderson, MD, a psychiatrist, is the author of “Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith”. Through a psychobiography study, another way of looking at history, he offers a fascinating look into Smith’s life, the founding prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

A study that offers a mental diagnosis

Anderson relies on a psychobiographical study which involves, both science and academic history. He hypothesizes that the Book of Mormon can be understood as Smith’s autobiography. In addition, he offers a diagnosis of Smith’s mental state.

The doctor presents a thought-provoking perspective. He examines Smith’s early years, his family and neighbors, homes, health, state off mind and the state of the nation, including politics of the day, the revivalist and spiritualist movements, folklore, poverty and economics. Through this, he attempts to give a whole picture of Smith from what historical evidence remains, and includes mental health in that picture.

An engaging read

As a historian and author, I found Anderson’s study compelling. The book is an engaging read, and presented in a way I, as a layperson, understood, The repetition was laborious, although, understandable, since it is a case study.  Admittedly, I skimmed bits of it. Aside from that, I recommend.

Seattle writer, Kate E Thompson, is the author of "Bigfoot Hunters Never Lie", and is finishing her second novel, a historical fiction, coming of age story, set in 1869 Utah Territory. She’s an avid reader, is fond of reading old diaries and letters, and enjoys nothing more than searching through university archives and special collections.

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