Unexpected : the backstory of finding Elizabeth Smart and growing up in the culture of an American religion

by Thomas, Chris 1972 or 1973-

Format: Print Book 2023
Availability: On Order 1 copy
On Order (1)
Location Collection Status
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection IN PROCESSING
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
The backstory of finding Elizabeth Smart and how growing up in the Mormon culture pushed the author to develop the exact kind of intuition that was needed to help manage Elizabeth's kidnapping and rescue while the world watched.

Chris Thomas is not yet thirty years old when he finds himself managing the immense pressure, eccentric personalities, and extenuating circumstances of an international story, where one small misstep could adversely impact the search for a missing teenager and the reputation of her family. Now, twenty years later, Thomas takes readers behind the scenes, providing new details, perspectives, and commentary on finding Elizabeth Smart.

In the process of reflecting on Elizabeth's search and rescue, Thomas discovers how growing up in the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as Mormon) helped push him to develop the exact kind of intuition needed to manage Elizabeth's kidnapping and rescue, and to do so while the world watched.

Unexpected juxtaposes crucial events from the Smart case with Thomas's experience growing up in the Latter-day Saint culture, including coming to understand the secret of a broken war hero before it was too late.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Communications consultant Thomas recounts managing media for the family of Elizabeth Smart in the wake of her 2002 kidnapping in this intriguing but unsuccessful debut memoir. Initially volunteering as the Smart family's media manager, Thomas was later hired full-time and spent the nine months between Elizabeth's abduction and her return triaging interview requests (a process he describes in perhaps too much detail) while working to keep the case in the public eye. He recounts long, grueling days ("I broken four teeth, unaware that I was grinding them due to... stress") as the family pushed the police to investigate suspects. Thomas, meanwhile, contended with an ever-growing "media frenzy" and worked to limit journalists' direct access to the Smarts, especially as public opinion of the family grew "accusatory and complicated" and articles floated Tom Smart, Elizabeth's uncle, as a suspect. Throughout, Thomas incorporates loosely related childhood memories, including growing up in Latter Day Saints culture, which he suggests helped him develop the "intuition" to navigate Elizabeth's case. While Thomas might offer just enough behind-the-scenes details--including descriptions of the strange atmosphere of Elizabeth's return--to satisfy true crime buffs, more casual readers will be put off by the tangents and overly granular discussion of media processes. This adds little to a case that's seen no shortage of coverage. (Mar.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Smart, Elizabeth, -- 1987-
Thomas, Chris -- (Christopher Shane), -- 1972 or 1973-
Kidnapping victims -- Utah -- Salt Lake City -- Biography.
Kidnapping -- Utah -- Salt Lake City -- Case studies.
Missing children -- Utah -- Salt Lake City.
Mormon children -- Crimes against -- Utah -- Salt Lake City.
Publisher New York :Post Hill Press,2023
Contributors Smart, Elizabeth, 1987- writer of foreword.
Language English
Notes Foreword by Elizabeth Smart.
Description xviii, 253 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781637587690
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