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From The CriticsReviewer: Virginia Galloway, BA (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This biography psychoanalytically examines the life of the Mormon prophet in light of posttraumatic stress disorder and the resulting dissociation.
Purpose: The primary purpose of the book is to provide a thorough psychoanalytic case study of Joseph Smith, Jr.'s experiences and resulting behavior. Secondarily, the book serves as an addition to ongoing dialogue about the Mormon founder's behavior. The objectives of the book are met, but the value of these objectives is limited.
Audience: The book is targeted to anyone interested in comprehensive case study analysis, especially posttraumatic stress disorder specialists and psychiatrists. The author's background in plastic surgery, however, does not qualify him as an authority given the target audience and the psychoanalytic perspective of the book.
Features: The references are sufficient and the index is adequate. The division drawn between chapters is sometimes unclear, but the book does provide a chronological and consummate history of the Mormon founder.
Assessment: For the individual interested in a detailed biography of Joseph Smith, Jr. and/or the underpinnings of Mormonism, this book provides a unique perspective. It presents a sensitive psychoanalytic theory regarding the behavior of Joseph Smith, Jr., and stresses insight into how traumatic events can shape individual lives.