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This book could become the definative work on Joseph Smith. Its primary fault however is that it tries to straddle both sides of the "who is Joseph Smith question" Bushman does this by avoiding the question altogether. Making good use of contemporary sources, Bushman tries to show Joseph Smith from the view point of those who knew him, including his followers and his most ardent detractors. Bushman makes no effort to hide his belief in the divinity of Joseph Smith's calling. He does not, however, fall into the trap of avoiding events in Joseph Smith's life that do not contribute to that belief.
A little long for those with a casual interest in the Life of Joseph Smith.
 

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

5 stars for the amount of research and work that went into this book! It was long and sometimes put me to sleep in one page so 3 stars for that. But overall a really interesting and eye opening book ... Read full review

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Jen - Goodreads

I admit this took me forever to read. There was a lot of new (to me) information that I really wanted to think about and check out. The new church published essays helped with that. Extremely ... Read full review

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Josh - Goodreads

I feel that Bushman gives an honest biography of Joseph Smith. As he says, he included everything “warts and all”. Anyone interested in church history will appreciate this definitive work. Make sure that you are in the right frame of mind before you read this biography. Read full review

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Elaine - Goodreads

This was an amazing treatise on the man Joseph Smith. More than anything this book showed what a "plain man" he was. He did extraordinary things, the greatest of which was obey God when he would ... Read full review

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Cindy - Goodreads

Felt a renewed connection, love, affirmation of the prophet Joseph Smith. Read full review

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Misty - Goodreads

Very comprehensive. Despite the fact that as a member of the church Joseph Smith founded he is surely slightly biased, Bushman does a great job of reviewing and critiquing competing sources. I felt like I was able to understand Joseph Smith as a person and not an idealized martyr. Read full review

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Laura Krey - Goodreads

It had a lot of information, but one must read the footnotes to get the full meaning. It appears that the author is hiding vital information in the notes. He gives so much extraneous detail and ... Read full review

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Brad Mclaws - Goodreads

This is a great book. A fair and honest assessment of J. Smith. It will create doubts if you are not educated about J. Smith and have the opinion that he was flawless. Read full review

Review: Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

User Review  - Lisa Ohrn - Goodreads

One of the best nonfiction books I have read in a long time. I love the historical perspective this is written from. It sheds a great deal of light on what Joseph was up against during the restoration. Read full review


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