The 1993 event at Mt. Carmel shocked all of America and has since spawned a plethora of books regarding the "truth" about the Branch Davidians. Memories of the Branch Davidians is the story told from the inside. The oral history of Bonnie Haldeman, the mother of Vernon Howell (David Koresh), offers an intimate, first-hand account of how a boy named Vernon Howell became David Koresh. Haldeman paints a picture of Koresh that could only be told by one who knew both his greatest strengths and his deepest faults.
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Bonnie Haldeman is the mother of David Koresh and a surviving Branch Davidian. She lived, traveled, and worked with the Branch Davidians in Texas, California, and Hawaii from 1985 until 1991. She currently lives and works in the Tyler, Texas area.
Catherine Wessinger (Ph.D. University of Iowa) is the Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J. Professor in Arts and Sciences, and she is Professor of the History of Religions in the Religious Studies Department, Loyola University, New Orleans. She is the author of How the Millennium Comes Violently: From Jonestown to Heaven's Gate, editor of Millennialism, Persecution and Violence: Historical Cases, and co-general editor of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions.
"In Memories of the Branch Davidians, Catherine Wessinger's insightful interviews with Bonnie Haldeman provide a rare glimpse into David Koresh's childhood and his emergence as the spiritual leader of the Branch Davidians. In this plain-spoken account of her life and her son's life, Bonnie Haldeman puts a human face on David Koresh and his followers, offering a needed corrective to the predominantly stereotypical portrayals of the Branch Davidians."―Dr. David G. Bromley, Professor of Religious Studies and Sociology, School of World Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University
"In the many analyses of the Branch Davidian tragedy, what are missing are precisely these autobiographical voices of the 'Branch Davidians' themselves. In Bonnie Haldeman, the mother of David Koresh, we hear their voice."―James Tabor, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
"Cathy Wessinger's presentation of Bonnie Haldeman's oral history is an invaluable source of information for those endeavoring to learn more about a religious community that was virtually wiped out in an unprecedented standoff with the federal government in 1993. Wessinger has toiled to compile these stories for the historical record and provide researchers with rich insights into the little-known lives of sect members and its leader, David Koresh."―Stuart A. Wright, Professor of Sociology and Assistant Director, Office of Research, Lamar University
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