John C. Bennet – The History of the Saints
This book is fairly sensational when read in a vacuum. When you read it in conjunction with other books (that aren’t too sanitized and “faith promoting” like the 7 volume “History of the Church”), you will realize that some (if not much) of what Bennett says is true (including the details of the Nancy Rigdon and Sarah Pratt affairs). The behind the scenes detail provided are worth the price of the book alone (assuming you aren’t planning on buying an original copy which is quite expensive). A letter he quotes (that the church leaders later denied existed) turned up in the official “History of the Church” as a letter of Joseph Smith used when the polygamy doctrine was being introduced. Bennett isn’t much of a writer though. Most of the book merely quotes other books, newspaper articles, and letters.
Bennett’s biography (the book cover of which is shown to the left) has received rave reviews.