The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch

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Joseph Smith knew his time was coming to an end on this earth. A mob was coming to kill him, and the confines of incarceration couldn’t protect him. Smith had been leading the Church of Latter Day Saints, and a successor hadn’t been designated. At least, a successor hadn’t been publicly named. James Jesse Strang laid claim to the title, alleging that Smith had picked him to helm the church in a letter Smith sent pre-assasination. Strang’s claim was dubious at best, the mid-point to a lifetime of schemes and cons, which left him fleeing from creditors and law enforcement. Strang possessed an idealistic nature that was overshadowed by a corrupt soul. His early life consisted of failures in career and marriage. He relocated to Illinois and soon gravitated to the Mormon faith, which had established a foothold in Nauvoo. Strang established a post in Beaver Island, Illinois, where he proclaimed himself “King.” His grip on the reins of the Mormon Church was ironclad, yet his avarice and lust for power destined him for a catastrophic fall.

The King Of Confidence reads akin to the best of thriller fiction. The true nature of the book renders the events all the more shocking and makes for an impactful read. Miles Harvey has done a masterful job bringing the past to life, narrating the whirlwind rise and fall of a true confidence man.


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Author Miles Harvey
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 416 pages
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date 2020-05-12
ISBN 9780316463591
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2020
Category History
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