Piotr Kuczkowski Kuczkowski von 88841 Sant'Anna KR, Italien
Meh. Perhaps if I tried again, I'd be able to finish this book. But it sat on my shelf for months at home while I sped through loads and loads of other books. I guess it just didn't move fast enough for me. This may be due to the huge cast of characters and how no one character seems to do much of anything for an entire book.
Givens does some solid research for this book. He is unabashed about employing opinions by unsympathetic or disaffected members whose point of view he considers significant to the development of his argument that Mormon culture is paradoxical, and at times contradictory. Overall I think that he did a good job though I take issue with some of his positions, especially his take on the liberal arts, a sense of the mystical, and our concept of grace in the face of self-reliance. Nevertheless, the work accomplishes its primary task of obliging the outsider to look with more compassion on the complex cultural system that is "Mormonism," as well as discomfits members into reevaluating or at least thinking more deeply about the foundations of their belief. Unfortunately, those who would benefit most from this book are not those who would pick it up and read it!!!!