76: Alex Beam’s Experience Writing “American Crucifixion”

Clay sits down with author Alex Beam to discuss his book American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church.

Play

Links and References

American Crucifixion – Alex Beam
Alex Beam’s Website
Interview with Radio West
Interview with Mormon Stories

Other books mentioned:
Mormon Enigma – Lind King Newell & Valeen Tippetts Avery
The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri – Stephen C. LeSueur
Carthage Conspiracy: The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith – Dallin H. Oaks & Marvin S. Hill

7 Comments

  1. Alex Beam

    Nice work, Clay — thanks for your interest — Alex

    Reply Aug 08, 2014 @ 07:38:43
    • Clay

      Thank you, Alex! All the best in your next project.

      Reply Aug 08, 2014 @ 11:16:35
  2. Matt

    This guy bugged me. He didn’t want to give straight answers any of the questions and just seemed liked he didn’t want to say the “wrong” thing in fear of pissing of potential LDS readers. It would have been nice to actually get a genuine opinion form this guy. I was interested in reading this book, but after hearing this interview I will not be buying or wasting my time with this book.

    Reply Aug 11, 2014 @ 09:23:45
    • Clay

      Hey, Matt.
      Thanks for caring enough listen and post. We appreciate your listernship.
      I must say that I think you will be doing yourself a disservice by not reading the book. Alex certainly does not pull punches in the book, in my mind. I think that there is a difference between trying to be respectful and “not wanting to piss off potential LDS readers.” I feel that Beam is the former, but you are certainly entitled to you own opinion.
      All the best and thanks again for listening.

      Reply Aug 11, 2014 @ 21:11:41
  3. William Law

    American crucifixion: truth or fiction

    Author Alex Beam’s deceptive title, is the first of his ethical compromises when attempting to describe the life and times of Joseph Smith founder of our only authentic, exceptional, poly-deist and meta-meta-physical chauvinist theocracy created through the Divine Right Rite and the law of witnesses.

    I da-no, making it up as you go along has its tender moments.
    The crucifixion of Joseph Smith is a stretch when making it up as you go along. Seems one can only make so much up before it looks by the tribals as “THE CHURCH IS TRUE” or, “Oh, my Gosh what have I gotten into.”

    How is it possible for an unreliable narrator, general officer, commander of a three thousand man standing army, printer and minter of Nauvoo Bogus money, land speculator, sexual predator, Necromancer and Psychopath CAN CLAIM THE MANTEL of BEiNG CRUCIFIED –– If so Hyrum was Crucified too.
    When describing a charlatan, poser thief, thug and hypocrite; one might lightly toss off the conjecture and go for full blown Messianic Martyrdom.

    Lest we forget the American Exceptionalist Jacksonian era, where on the frontier fringe anything was possible and magic was easy with the personalities drawn to that flux ridden, morally vacabt boundary –– on the frontier many were dispatched with vigor.

    The zeitgeist went on further westward to found yet another New Zion.
    Enough with the crucifixions already. By Alex Beam’s lights, Brigham Young was the Messiah Incarnate.

    I know the title is sexy, seductive and sensational but not very honest / true.

    QED

    Reply Aug 12, 2014 @ 11:26:52
    • William Law

      I meant to write:

      Lest we forget the American Exceptionalist Jacksonian era, where on the frontier fringe anything was possible and magic was easy with the personalities drawn to that flux ridden, morally vacant boundary –– on the frontier many were dispatched with vigor by far less just punishments than the execution of the Lt. General Joseph Smith Jr.

      Reply Aug 14, 2014 @ 13:12:17
  4. Abe

    I liked American Crucifixion. Beam does not protect believing readers from the facts and mostly avoids language and tone that might be contrived as “anti”. If you want a well-painted picture of the frontier hostilities that brought about Joseph’s death you should definitely read the book.

    Reply Oct 02, 2014 @ 19:47:19

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