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The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett

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ISBN 10: 0252022823 / ISBN 13: 9780252022821
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Title: The Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of...

Book Condition:New

About this title


Explores the life of the scientist, religious leader, and talented flimflam man who, in addition to selling medical degrees, advanced his cause by befriending the founder of Mormon church, Joseph Smith

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John Cook Bennett, 1840s Renaissance man, was a scientist, a religious leader, and a flimflam man extraordinaire. Tomato promoter (when the crimson orbs were thought dangerous), diploma seller, self-taught military genius, confidant and then intractable detractor of Mormon founder Joseph Smith--his biography bursts with the ingenuity, verbiage, and gall of the man. "A self-taught person who probably never graduated from college or attended a medical school," his biographer says, "his endeavors to establish educational institutions [are] utterly amazing"; although he remains notorious for selling medical degrees, "Bennett granted diplomas in numerous academic areas." Seeking out the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, Bennett became the mayor and military commandant; a quartermaster general in the state militia, he then procured equipment for a virtual Mormon army. Eventually he wrote an exposeof Joseph Smith, charging him with planning an independent Mormon empire and practicing polygamy (Bennett had been, of course, an enthusiastic polygamist himself). After "two years of anti-Mormon campaigning," he tried to gain control of the church when Smith was assassinated. Astonishing, but typical of an American entrepreneurial zealot whose dynamic biography is truly stranger than fiction. Mike Tribby

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