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Read the true story of Brigham Young's bodyguard - a man history (and Hollywood) has completely overlooked - the only man to kill more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Tom Horn, and Batt masterson . . . combined. A man who believed from a blessing he received from Joseph Smith that if he never cut his hair he could never die in a fight. Assassins ambushed him, but no Read the true story of Brigham Young's bodyguard - a man history (and Hollywood) has completely overlooked - the only man to kill more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Tom Horn, and Batt masterson . . . combined. A man who believed from a blessing he received from Joseph Smith that if he never cut his hair he could never die in a fight. Assassins ambushed him, but no one could kill him, as confirmed by the Deseret News in 1918, stating he had passed through dangers "unscathed, as numerous as those recorded in the most lurid fiction" after it had interviewed numerous settlers who had known him. Gunfighters traveled hundreds of miles to "get him" - none succeeded. Outlaws actually sang compfire ballads about him. Latter-day Saints are proud to view him as a folk hero. Reading this book allows us to see what a real hero is. Famed British journalist Jules Remy wrote in 1861, "He is the stuff from which heroes are wrought. It is he who is ever at hand where there is a sacrifice to be made which can be of advantage to the oppressed." Richard Lloyd Dewey quotes hundreds of original sources - journals, letters, and court records - some from sources never before tapped - and weaves them all together in fascinating form. In the process he clarifies the controversies, dispels the shadows, and melts away the myriads of anti-Mormon myths. Journalistic, fast-flowing writing sweeps you through explosive early Mormon history with charm and style. He reports little known events and unravels a bizarre yet faith-promoting tale. The Deseret News of 1986 reports, "The writing is slick and the pace is fast. Dewey has done his homework." It's a story told with breadth and feeling . . . the most intriguing, ACCURATE account yet of Orrin Porter Rockwell. Also the most comprehensive, by far. As the definitive work on him, this fascinating, epic biography is as exciting to read as a first-rate novel. Beautifully illustrated by western artist Clark Kelley Price.


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Read the true story of Brigham Young's bodyguard - a man history (and Hollywood) has completely overlooked - the only man to kill more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Tom Horn, and Batt masterson . . . combined. A man who believed from a blessing he received from Joseph Smith that if he never cut his hair he could never die in a fight. Assassins ambushed him, but no Read the true story of Brigham Young's bodyguard - a man history (and Hollywood) has completely overlooked - the only man to kill more outlaws than Wyatt Earp, Doc Holladay, Tom Horn, and Batt masterson . . . combined. A man who believed from a blessing he received from Joseph Smith that if he never cut his hair he could never die in a fight. Assassins ambushed him, but no one could kill him, as confirmed by the Deseret News in 1918, stating he had passed through dangers "unscathed, as numerous as those recorded in the most lurid fiction" after it had interviewed numerous settlers who had known him. Gunfighters traveled hundreds of miles to "get him" - none succeeded. Outlaws actually sang compfire ballads about him. Latter-day Saints are proud to view him as a folk hero. Reading this book allows us to see what a real hero is. Famed British journalist Jules Remy wrote in 1861, "He is the stuff from which heroes are wrought. It is he who is ever at hand where there is a sacrifice to be made which can be of advantage to the oppressed." Richard Lloyd Dewey quotes hundreds of original sources - journals, letters, and court records - some from sources never before tapped - and weaves them all together in fascinating form. In the process he clarifies the controversies, dispels the shadows, and melts away the myriads of anti-Mormon myths. Journalistic, fast-flowing writing sweeps you through explosive early Mormon history with charm and style. He reports little known events and unravels a bizarre yet faith-promoting tale. The Deseret News of 1986 reports, "The writing is slick and the pace is fast. Dewey has done his homework." It's a story told with breadth and feeling . . . the most intriguing, ACCURATE account yet of Orrin Porter Rockwell. Also the most comprehensive, by far. As the definitive work on him, this fascinating, epic biography is as exciting to read as a first-rate novel. Beautifully illustrated by western artist Clark Kelley Price.

30 review for Porter Rockwell: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I tried reading this book all the way through but kept getting annoyed as the author took too many liberties. I thought this would be a biography as it says that it is but the author supposes and guesses and suggests way too much. Stick to the facts........

  2. 5 out of 5

    S James Bysouth

    This was a fascinating read. I had heard about this badass from a friend, and after repeatedly asking for more stories about this guy I was presented with this mammoth tome. While Mr Rockwell is a compelling folk hero to read about, this was also an intriguing window into the Latter Day Saint movement and the strange and (debatably) wonderful things that went on, albeit from the point of view of an LDS rather than detractors through whom you normally hear the more messed up stories.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Skip Green

    This book has been sitting on my shelf for at least fifteen years. I'm not sure if I bought it on impulse or if it was given to me, but it had a bookmark that my at-that-time girlfriend gave me after moving three states away to sunny San Diego on page three. There is a beach on the bookmark. Porter Rockwell failed to satisfy my boyish longings fifteen years ago, but I am no longer a lovesick boy. I am a man. And this is the kind of book men read. And like Porter Rockwell would have done, I kicke This book has been sitting on my shelf for at least fifteen years. I'm not sure if I bought it on impulse or if it was given to me, but it had a bookmark that my at-that-time girlfriend gave me after moving three states away to sunny San Diego on page three. There is a beach on the bookmark. Porter Rockwell failed to satisfy my boyish longings fifteen years ago, but I am no longer a lovesick boy. I am a man. And this is the kind of book men read. And like Porter Rockwell would have done, I kicked that girl to the curb long ago. There are other ways that I am like Porter Rockwell. He didn't shave or cut his hair. I have not shaved in two months and it has been at least one month since I cut my hair. He lived in Lehi, Utah. I've driven through there. So on the first lazy Sunday after school got out for summer break, and I no longer had to deal with thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen-year-olds and their somewhat pleasing but often overly-simplistic YA literature, I decided to give Porter Rockwell another shot. That's a pun, because he shot guns. This book is okay. I liked reading it. I like Utah history and I can easily get wrapped up in books about what my hometown was like one hundred and fifty years ago. Dewey has clearly done his research and has a source to cite in nearly every paragraph. There are two hundred fifty pages of notes, references, and bibliography. But this book also has some problems. Although he's done a great job including sources, Dewey isn't able to let them speak for themselves. Any time he thinks a source might not support the image of Porter Rockwell he wants the reader to go away with, he interrupts the source to correct it. And these interruptions and corrections never have their own sources, which means that the corrections are unsubstantiated and unsupported. Dewey wants to entice the reader with the image of Porter Rockwell as a gunslinging roustabout going against the grain in early Mormon Utah, but he also wants to make sure the reader knows that Rockwell was an obedient and faithful Latter-day Saint, despite his fondness for whiskey and swearing. And killing people. Though there are more than enough sources to convince me that the author has done the legwork, the information isn't presented objectively, so it doesn't really paint a clear picture of who Porter Rockwell was. To an extent, I can understand why Dewey approached the subject in the way he did. It's clear that there was a lot of misinformation in contemporary sources about Rockwell's character, and it's understandable that a Rockwell aficionado would want to clear some of that up. But Dewey over-corrects. It's not enough for Dewey to demonstrate that Rockwell was not a hit man for the early church. He goes out of his way to leave the reader with the impression that Rockwell was pretty conventional as far as LDS doctrinal observance is concerned, that a modern Latter-day Saint might expect to run into him in sacrament meeting if he were alive today, and that he might even be assigned to Rockwell as a home teaching companion. But despite his unwavering loyalty to the church and it's leaders, the guy owned a saloon and was a well-documented alcoholic that, on a handful of occasions, clearly killed people who crossed paths with him in the heat of the moment. Dewey's interpretation of Rockwell's character in this regard seems a bit strained throughout the book. The first one hundred pages don't really have much to do with Rockwell. I can see why Dewey included them; he wants to paint a picture of the hostile environment Rockwell and the other Mormons endured to show how it shaped Rockwell's character. The problem is that, since Rockwell wasn't a well-known figure at the beginning of this period, there isn't much documentation for his whereabouts. There are a few documents that tie him loosely to various places and events, but nothing to shed any light on what he actually did. As a result, the first hundred pages read like a pretty standard recitation of LDS church history with insertions at the end of each major event saying things like, "Doubtless Porter was there." The problem is that Dewey is reading his history backward, placing Rockwell in the middle of events based on the ways he was known to act twenty years later, when there is more documentation about things he said and did. I'm getting a little picky here, but I'm also a little annoyed with some of the Dewey's stylistic choices. He likes to set up paragraphs in which he doesn't really say what he's trying to get at, but instead makes a few broad statements and then uses an ellipses to get the reader to infer his meaning. And we all know how effective that can be in a book claiming to be an academic historical work... I think Dewey would have written a much better book if he had been willing to embrace the more ethereal and folkloric aspects of Rockwell's character instead of trying to cram his personality into Dewey's predetermined mold. It is, after all, that legendary aspect of Porter Rockwell that makes him such a compelling figure.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Garrett

    I enjoyed reading this biography. It read quickly, and there was a lot of information that I had never learned (since I did not grow up in Utah and did not get that as part of my history lessons). I thought the Notes section was a bit long, and the numbering in the text for sources has no associated footnotes or numbered works cited section, so that was a bit frustrating. I also would have liked more details about motive instead of just the old event after event. Of course, I realize that is diffi I enjoyed reading this biography. It read quickly, and there was a lot of information that I had never learned (since I did not grow up in Utah and did not get that as part of my history lessons). I thought the Notes section was a bit long, and the numbering in the text for sources has no associated footnotes or numbered works cited section, so that was a bit frustrating. I also would have liked more details about motive instead of just the old event after event. Of course, I realize that is difficult to achieve for someone who didn't know how to read or write (Rockwell), but for me, that is what is important - not just what someone does, but why they do it. That must be why I like to write science fiction and fantasy ;-)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Annalisa

    This book disappointed me. I was hoping to find a book that would set straight who Porter Rockwell really was and separate the man from the legend...instead I got a book full of hypothesis and conveniently missing information. There were good references for a lot of overall historical information but when it came to things closely related to Rockwell it was lacking. Still looking for a book on this legend of a man so if anyone knows one that has solid record and references I'd love to read it. Y This book disappointed me. I was hoping to find a book that would set straight who Porter Rockwell really was and separate the man from the legend...instead I got a book full of hypothesis and conveniently missing information. There were good references for a lot of overall historical information but when it came to things closely related to Rockwell it was lacking. Still looking for a book on this legend of a man so if anyone knows one that has solid record and references I'd love to read it. You grow up in Utah hearing all kinds of crazy stories about him, but oy if I could get my hands on something that was less guesswork.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    First I should say that I never intended to read this book; but I was stuck in the woods with no book to read, so Porter Rockwell it was. That being said I enjoyed it more then I thought I would. One of the things that I didn't like was the way the author "assumes" Rockwell did this or that; it is a biography, if you don't have evidence to support the things that happened don't include it. So annoying.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Interesting information. Not well written and questionable source material.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Larsen

    This book lacks organization both in the layout and in the writing. The frontpiece contains 18 pages about guns with one page of Acknowledgements. The narrative itself is 339 pages followed by 129 pages of explanatory Notes, then 46 pages of References documenting the narrative, then 16 pages of References documenting the Notes, and finally 35 pages of Bibliography. (Quantity not Quality) I am not the only reader annoyed by the near impossibility of finding the References cited in the Notes. A t This book lacks organization both in the layout and in the writing. The frontpiece contains 18 pages about guns with one page of Acknowledgements. The narrative itself is 339 pages followed by 129 pages of explanatory Notes, then 46 pages of References documenting the narrative, then 16 pages of References documenting the Notes, and finally 35 pages of Bibliography. (Quantity not Quality) I am not the only reader annoyed by the near impossibility of finding the References cited in the Notes. A table of contents would have helped. On page 25 Dewey writes, "Before his move to Caldwell County, however, Joseph [Smith] had led 204 Mormon soldiers from Ohio in an attempt to redeem Jackson County .... But Zion's Camp, as the army was called, had met with disaster; .... The miserable excursion over, having never reached Missouri, Joseph led them back to Ohio." Zion's Camp did indeed reach Missouri and was disbanded near the Fishing River which anyone familiar with Zion's Camp history knows. The Fishing River flows through Clay and Ray Counties in Missouri. Dewey writes of activities and adventures with only suggestions or assumptions that Orrin Porter Rockwell was present or involved which is not surprising because Rockwell was not literate, and his life was not consistently written about. Dewey's writing leads me to suggest a better title for this book might be Glimpses of History Surrounding the Life of Orrin Porter Rockwell. I was especially disappointed in Dewey's treatment of Colonel Patrick E. Connor in the last 3 pages of Chapter XIII and all of Chapter XIV (also Note 36) which portrays the Battle of Bear River against the Shoshone Indians (also known as the Bear River Massacre) opposite to the honorable character which Dewey probably correctly attributes to Rockwell.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    Porter Rockwell was the Chuck Norris of Mormondom. I loved taking this opportunity to learn more about the man whose name, only ever casually mentioned in any of my church classes, has been so shrouded in legend. With it, I also learned a lot about Latter-day Saint history, and enjoyed getting a fuller context and deeper narrative for events I've read and been taught about but still seemed fairly isolated from one another. I especially appreciated the chapters after Rockwell and his fellow immig Porter Rockwell was the Chuck Norris of Mormondom. I loved taking this opportunity to learn more about the man whose name, only ever casually mentioned in any of my church classes, has been so shrouded in legend. With it, I also learned a lot about Latter-day Saint history, and enjoyed getting a fuller context and deeper narrative for events I've read and been taught about but still seemed fairly isolated from one another. I especially appreciated the chapters after Rockwell and his fellow immigrants arrived in Utah; it was so much fun to read a history book about a place where I live, and am so familiar with. Bonus points: I also discovered some great information about an ancestor of mine, Thomas McBride, who was murdered during the Church's Missouri years but who otherwise I didn't know much about at all. While the author does take some annoying liberties here and there, like "supposing" Rockwell was present at a particular scene, I found lots of gems in this book and would recommend it to anyone wanting to get to know the man behind the myths.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I thought "Porter Rockwell: A Biography" by Richard Lloyd Dewey was a very good book. I enjoyed learning more about the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and about this unforgettable character in the beginnings of the pioneer history of the church. I believe the author did a commendable job of telling all sides of the story. A very interesting fact is how the media crucified good people in the early days of the church just like they do today.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Peterson

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The life Porter Rockwell lived was full of adventure and danger. A movie could easily be made about his life. I also enjoyed learning more about the early days and the members of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. A lot of the stories in this book about the early saints and Porter Rockwell you don't hear about in other history books.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Nelson

    There is no doubt that there probably is a special place in Heaven for Porter Rockwell. I recommend this one to all who like informative early American historical literature of the 5th kind. I liked it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Anderson

    What a chatacter!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anita Williamson

    Very Interesting. The book didn't read as cleanly as other historical books because it had so many sources and explanations, but still very good.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nigel

    A very well researched and presented portrait of a true frontiersman and faithful man.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    Porter Rockwell by Richard Lloyd Dewey is a fascinating and thorough account, based on a wide variety of sources, of one of the most compelling figures in 19th century America and the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Porter was a complex man. He demonstrated absolute loyalty to the church and his close friends, who included Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and may have saved their lives on multiple occasions. He was commonly observed as being good-natured and having a Porter Rockwell by Richard Lloyd Dewey is a fascinating and thorough account, based on a wide variety of sources, of one of the most compelling figures in 19th century America and the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Porter was a complex man. He demonstrated absolute loyalty to the church and his close friends, who included Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and may have saved their lives on multiple occasions. He was commonly observed as being good-natured and having a likeable sense of humor. He was also likely an alcoholic with a penchant for swearing and was accused of murdering (and attempting to murder) multiple individuals. Parenthetically, he was never found guilty in a court of law, because the evidence was always circumstantial and insufficient. Unfortunately, even the wide-ranging and in-depth source material is inadequate in resolving many of the myths and mysteries surrounding Porter's colorful life. Enemies of the Mormons had reason to lie about Porter (and were later found to have done so in many instances), and the Saints' own journal entries often contain uncorroborated stories seemingly full of hyperbole. Thus, readers are left to sift through the anecdotes and judge for themselves the quality and merits of Porter's life and character. But that sifting process is anything but boring!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Summers

    This was especially interesting, not only because of Porter's devotion to the Prophets Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, but because this book explained in detail what brought about the persecutions and who the people were that betrayed the Church and how steadfast the saints were. I had not realized how much the persecutions had continued throughout the history in Salt Lake and Utah, especially through the avenue of the law in the hands of evil men who misused the law for their own purposes. They This was especially interesting, not only because of Porter's devotion to the Prophets Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, but because this book explained in detail what brought about the persecutions and who the people were that betrayed the Church and how steadfast the saints were. I had not realized how much the persecutions had continued throughout the history in Salt Lake and Utah, especially through the avenue of the law in the hands of evil men who misused the law for their own purposes. They were very hard times. But, according to Brigham Young and Joseph F. Smith, Porter was true to his faith and consistently courageous in defending the Church and protecting the land and they testified that he never deviated from his faith (other than his weakness for whiskey). He was a friend to the righteous but the wicked hated him and brought him much misery... and made up many lies and stories about him... but he was tenacious in fighting against evil, so much so that his life became legendary. His ranch was by Lehi and the Point of the Mountain. This book mentions Hosea Stout several times, who is a direct ancestor of ours on my mother's side. At one point, Porter and Hosea spent time in jail together on a trumped up charge.

  18. 5 out of 5

    SPstudio

    Good review of an interesting historial character and the times that shaped him and the LDS community. The thing that struck me was the similarity of media attacks (newspaper only for that time) and techniques used to whip up public emotion against a group of people to justify military, political, and personal justification for acts of aggression. Many people believed the lies being told by government and their media shills. The great injustices done would never have been allowed by good people Good review of an interesting historial character and the times that shaped him and the LDS community. The thing that struck me was the similarity of media attacks (newspaper only for that time) and techniques used to whip up public emotion against a group of people to justify military, political, and personal justification for acts of aggression. Many people believed the lies being told by government and their media shills. The great injustices done would never have been allowed by good people if they hadn't believed they were in danger. And it was done for political power and personal gain. It is good to reminded through the past how good people are manipulated into agreeing to terrible things. If centralized power wants to exersize power over a group of people or even another country they will do it by promoting fear, anger, and the need to protect "democracy". It is interesting to me that the American founders didn't create a Democracy, but a Republic. They knew that democracy was mob rule through manipulation by a few and that freedom cannot exist under this philosophy. So....why are we promoting democracy abroad?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ron Tenney

    Today I finished “Porter Rockwell – A Biography” by Richard Lloyd Dewey. I was interested in the biography so that I could sort out some of the myth and legend from the truth about this most notorious of early church pioneers. The book did a great job of telling the stories. But how to decide what is mythical vs. factual? Sources are unreliable at best. Many stories emerge decades later with no collaboration. The bottom line to me is that Porter Rockwell was a friend to the victims of crime. He wa Today I finished “Porter Rockwell – A Biography” by Richard Lloyd Dewey. I was interested in the biography so that I could sort out some of the myth and legend from the truth about this most notorious of early church pioneers. The book did a great job of telling the stories. But how to decide what is mythical vs. factual? Sources are unreliable at best. Many stories emerge decades later with no collaboration. The bottom line to me is that Porter Rockwell was a friend to the victims of crime. He was always ready to drop any concern and or chore and chase into the night in pursuit of the horse thief, the stage robber or the enemy of the church. I wonder if he killed some from motives that don’t stand up to scrutiny. The Aiken affair comes to mind. He had a weakness for alcohol. I saw no effort for him to cure himself of this. He loved Joseph in an undying way. He also loved Brigham and the respect was mutual. The mythical side of Porter is fun to read. Most of these stories are in the final 40 pages or so. I recommend this book for anyone interested in early church history. A more colorful pioneer is not to be found.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jon Terry

    only made it about halfway through. i was really excited to learn more about rockwell, and still would like to learn more about him. i did learn a lot about him through this book, but i had a pretty hard time with the writing style. the trouble is that since rockwell was illiterate we just don't know a lot about the details of his life or what was going on in his head and heart. all we really have are what other people said about him in their journals and what not. dewey does his best to work wi only made it about halfway through. i was really excited to learn more about rockwell, and still would like to learn more about him. i did learn a lot about him through this book, but i had a pretty hard time with the writing style. the trouble is that since rockwell was illiterate we just don't know a lot about the details of his life or what was going on in his head and heart. all we really have are what other people said about him in their journals and what not. dewey does his best to work with this lack of information, which i guess is what i got tired of. there's a lot of stories that end with "... and porter was probably there" or "porter was probably thinking this." it's good that dewey didn't just say things as fact when we don't know, but it was frustrating for me to read a biography that had so much guesswork in it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    I didn't know a lot about Orrin Porter Rockwell before I enjoyed this book. But right away, I learned that, when Joseph Smith was 14 and Porter was 6, the Smiths moved to within a mile of the Rockwells, and they became close friends. Joseph and Porter remained friends until Joseph's death; Porter was also close to Brigham Young. Porter was best known as a gunslinger; he was also a missionary, rancher, miner, brewer, saloon keeper, and a lawman with an uncanny ability to track down rustlers and o I didn't know a lot about Orrin Porter Rockwell before I enjoyed this book. But right away, I learned that, when Joseph Smith was 14 and Porter was 6, the Smiths moved to within a mile of the Rockwells, and they became close friends. Joseph and Porter remained friends until Joseph's death; Porter was also close to Brigham Young. Porter was best known as a gunslinger; he was also a missionary, rancher, miner, brewer, saloon keeper, and a lawman with an uncanny ability to track down rustlers and other criminals. At times, he ran the pony express for Utah mail. Some reviewers have complained about the author's sources; I don't. The biography is followed by 130 pages of interesting notes, 60 pages of footnoted references, and a 35-page bibliography for anyone who wants to do their own research.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Keith Mclean

    For a biography this book is poor. But as a book on Church History it is rich. I found that I knew nothing more about Porter Rockwell at the closing of the book than when I first set out to read it. While it does help dispel some of the more colourful rumours and gossip about this elusive and infamous Church character, I found that the book was more about the Early Church's history, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young as well as enemies of the Church than it was about Porter Rockwell. A bit of a dry For a biography this book is poor. But as a book on Church History it is rich. I found that I knew nothing more about Porter Rockwell at the closing of the book than when I first set out to read it. While it does help dispel some of the more colourful rumours and gossip about this elusive and infamous Church character, I found that the book was more about the Early Church's history, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young as well as enemies of the Church than it was about Porter Rockwell. A bit of a dry read, it's well worth reading to learn about some of the less-commonly taught history of the early Church.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Dont go into this book expecting an adventure novel, it is quite the opposite. I loved reading it though because it shows the complexity of human nature. I think most of us are like Porter trying to live a spiritual life while still having to be part of this world. His dedication to his friends and his beliefs is inspiring, he was always willing to selflessly give of himself even when it wasent convienient to him often taking him far from his home and family into dangerous situations and unexplo Dont go into this book expecting an adventure novel, it is quite the opposite. I loved reading it though because it shows the complexity of human nature. I think most of us are like Porter trying to live a spiritual life while still having to be part of this world. His dedication to his friends and his beliefs is inspiring, he was always willing to selflessly give of himself even when it wasent convienient to him often taking him far from his home and family into dangerous situations and unexplored territory. Porter was a man to be emulated, and his life is a testimony to how we all ought to be.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carter Sahleen

    This book is about the life of Porter Rockwell. He was bodyguard and good friend to the founder and prophet of the LDS church. Porter has killed many more outlaws than any other before or after him. He trusted a prophecy that his friend Joseph Smith told him. It was that if he did not cut his hair he could not be killed. This book has not been made into a movie. I would recommend this book to anyone of the LDS religion or anyone interested in a good biography. The book moves very fluidly for a bio This book is about the life of Porter Rockwell. He was bodyguard and good friend to the founder and prophet of the LDS church. Porter has killed many more outlaws than any other before or after him. He trusted a prophecy that his friend Joseph Smith told him. It was that if he did not cut his hair he could not be killed. This book has not been made into a movie. I would recommend this book to anyone of the LDS religion or anyone interested in a good biography. The book moves very fluidly for a biography. The way the writer made it sound is extremely good too, except for how long winded he is. Other than that though I would not change the book at all. Over all it was a very good book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I will rate this book 3.5 stars. First of all, this book biography was really interesting. It was at a very unique time period, when the west was still being settled, when the US government was still weak, and when indians were a "problem." The biography also explained very well how Porter Rockwell was unlike any other man at that time. The most interesting part of this book, was when Porter was told by the prophet of the church, that if he never cut his hair, he would be protected form his enem I will rate this book 3.5 stars. First of all, this book biography was really interesting. It was at a very unique time period, when the west was still being settled, when the US government was still weak, and when indians were a "problem." The biography also explained very well how Porter Rockwell was unlike any other man at that time. The most interesting part of this book, was when Porter was told by the prophet of the church, that if he never cut his hair, he would be protected form his enemies. The notes in this book were also amazing. They took up about 150 pages. Clearly, the author did his research.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Well-researched and detailed, yet highly readable, this definitive biography of Porter Rockwell is a keeper. Rockwell was bodyguard to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, a noted gunfighter who was likely responsible for killing more men than Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Doc Holladay, and Tom Horn combined. It was said of him that, like Samson of old, he would not cut his hair, but when his enemies faced him they "thought they saw miracles." Dewey;s biography is a masterpiece, and stands alone in its Well-researched and detailed, yet highly readable, this definitive biography of Porter Rockwell is a keeper. Rockwell was bodyguard to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, a noted gunfighter who was likely responsible for killing more men than Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Doc Holladay, and Tom Horn combined. It was said of him that, like Samson of old, he would not cut his hair, but when his enemies faced him they "thought they saw miracles." Dewey;s biography is a masterpiece, and stands alone in its treatment of Porter Rockwell. Highly recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ander Heaton

    Porter is definitely an interesting character. I think if anything, reading his story teaches me that there are a lot of good people who do so much for the church and for God, who struggle with their vices. It's not up to me to judge them. He was a great example of befriending anybody, and had many nonmember friends. While he had some interesting struggles, I like his style. He was friendly and open with everyone (unless, you know, you got on his bad side), and would drop what he was doing to he Porter is definitely an interesting character. I think if anything, reading his story teaches me that there are a lot of good people who do so much for the church and for God, who struggle with their vices. It's not up to me to judge them. He was a great example of befriending anybody, and had many nonmember friends. While he had some interesting struggles, I like his style. He was friendly and open with everyone (unless, you know, you got on his bad side), and would drop what he was doing to help a stranger.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    I received this book as a birthday present from my father right after I returned home from my mission, back in 2010. I did get about half-way through the book in that same year, but I chose to start over from the beginning so I could read the notes that were included in the back of the story of Porter Rockwell. I really enjoyed this book. There are some details from the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the narrative in this book helps fill in those detail (a little I received this book as a birthday present from my father right after I returned home from my mission, back in 2010. I did get about half-way through the book in that same year, but I chose to start over from the beginning so I could read the notes that were included in the back of the story of Porter Rockwell. I really enjoyed this book. There are some details from the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the narrative in this book helps fill in those detail (a little bit).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    This book is amazing! The author does a great job of giving you the "Porter Story" while still giving you the church history context. Other than the book "History of the Church" this is the best book I have ever read as far as educating about church history. As for the specifics to Porter Rockwell... I LOVE THAT MAN. You will be stunned by what an influence Porter had on the church and on the west. If my wife would let me I would name all my sons after Orrin Porter Rockwell.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Syndy

    This is a book that has been in my home since I've been married to Chris. I just have not had any interest in reading it until now when I have not been to the library in 2 weeks. I was actually suprised that I like it. Biographies are not my fav. I think the best part of it was the early church history that I did not know. It's so great to be here in Illinois and be so close to some of that history, however sad some of it may be.

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