The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett

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University of Illinois Press, 1997 - Religion - 271 pages
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This is the first biography of one of this nation's most outrageous individuals, a man who was president of the medical departments of two universities and chancellor of two others, a member and officer of at least twenty different agricultural, medical, or social organizations, an itinerant minister in three different denominations, and a lobbyist who successfully ushered bills through legislatures in Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, and Illinois. Bennett's roles ranged from mayor of Nauvoo, confidant of Joseph Smith, and chicken breeder to surgeon, quartermaster general of Illinois, promoter of the tomato, and diploma salesman. His story is brilliantly told by an author who spent nine years uncovering and piecing together the facts. The Saintly Scoundrel reveals Bennett as one of the nineteenth century's most enterprising and entertaining humbugs, truly a man who excelled at promoting beliefs, places, things, and himself, whose ability to abruptly shift positions on people and faiths would dazzle even the most formidable propagandist of the twentieth century.

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Westward Immigrants
The Diploma Peddler
The Getter Up of Colleges
The Tomato Campaign
Vagabond Interludes
The Saintly City
Smiths Expose of Bennett
Bennetts Expose of Smith
The Lecture Circuit
Bennetts Mormon
A Fowl Ending
In Retrospect

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About the author (1997)

Andrew F. Smith teaches culinary history at The New School University in Manhattan and is the General Editor for the University of Illinois Press' Food Series. He has written several food-related books, including The Tomato in America, Pure Ketchup, Popped Culture, and Souper Tomatoes. A consultant
to several food television productions (airing on the History Channel and the Food Network), Mr. Smith resides in New York.

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