Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God Son of Thunder [Paperback] Review

Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God Son of Thunder [Paperback]Harold Schindler's biography on Mormon bad-boy Orrin Porter Rockwell is still the best biography of Rockwell out there. Moreover, it may be one of the best biographies of any early Mormon written. This book is not even so much about the quiet, enigmatic Rockwell as it is the genesis of an American religious movement.
Rockwell is a hard historical figure. He is a legendary figure whom the LDS church has tended to whitewash. Non-Mormon historians have had a tendency to villify him, making him a murderer and a theif. Somewhere, undoubtedly in the middle, lies the truth. Instead of writing an indictment or an apology for his life, Schindler writes a well-balanced account of Rockwell's life. He doesn't necessarily try to provide answers or justifications, only gives the facts and lets the reader decide. No doubt Schindler's objectivity and meticulous research has made this volume stand the test of time to become a classic in Mormon history.
I don't think I have ever said this about a book before: Probably just as engaging and interesting as the book itself are the footnotes which sometimes take up more of the page than the text. This is an awesome bibliographic reference as well. Not only does Schindler tell you about the life and times of Rockwell, he also tells many fascinating historical asides. If you don't believe or are suspcious about his research, then one may look at the documents he was viewing. Schindler does an excellent job of backing up most everything that he says.

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