No Man Knows My History: A Brief History

No Man Knows My History is a literary masterpiece that offers a comprehensive account of the life of Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Mormon religion. This book, written by Fawn M. Brodie, delves into the enigmatic and controversial life of Joseph Smith, exploring his upbringing, religious visions, and the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Fascinating Story

No Man Knows My History provides a deep dive into the life of Joseph Smith, showcasing his early years in Vermont and New York. Born into a devout farming family, Smith experienced a series of spiritual visions and revelations while still in his teens. These profound experiences eventually led him to translate the Book of Mormon, a sacred text that would form the foundation of the Mormon religion.

Throughout the book, Brodie explores Smith’s charismatic personality and leadership abilities, which attracted countless followers. She sheds light on his journeys and struggles, including the attempts to establish Mormon settlements and the eventual move to Nauvoo, Illinois.

Praise and Criticism

No Man Knows My History has received widespread acclaim for its meticulous research and engaging narrative. The book presents a balanced perspective on Joseph Smith’s life, highlighting his achievements while also delving into the controversies and challenges he faced.

The book has been lauded for its detailed exploration of Smith’s personality and the impact of his religious teachings. It delves into the complex relationship between Smith and his followers, analyzing the charisma and authority he possessed. Brodie also examines the controversies surrounding Smith’s practice of polygamy and serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to understand the origins of the Mormon religion.

While No Man Knows My History has been praised by many, it has also faced criticism from some members of the Mormon Church. As a work that challenges traditional narratives, it has sparked debates and discussions within the community. However, the book continues to be highly respected within the academic and literary circles.

Notable Characters

As a biographical account, No Man Knows My History introduces readers to numerous individuals who played significant roles in Joseph Smith’s life. Some of the notable characters featured in the book include:

Joseph Smith

The central figure of the book, Joseph Smith is portrayed as a charismatic leader, visionary, and religious figure. Brodie explores the complexity of Smith’s character, examining both his positive qualities and controversial actions.

Emma Smith

Joseph Smith’s first wife, Emma, is depicted as a strong and resilient woman who stood by her husband’s side throughout the challenges they faced. Her perspective provides insight into the personal struggles within the Smith family.

Brigham Young

One of Smith’s most prominent followers, Brigham Young played a crucial role in the expansion and leadership of the Mormon Church following Smith’s death. Brodie explores Young’s influence and the transition of power within the religious movement.

Oliver Cowdery

Oliver Cowdery was an early collaborator of Joseph Smith and played a significant role in the translation of the Book of Mormon. The book chronicles Cowdery’s complex relationship with Smith and his eventual excommunication from the church.


The book No Man Knows My History offers a captivating exploration of Joseph Smith’s life, shedding light on the origins of the Mormon religion and the complexities of its founder. Fawn M. Brodie’s meticulous research and storytelling skills make this book a must-read for those interested in religious history, American literature, and the human experience.

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