Since there is so much interest on Beck's recent book I've collected a list of all my posts on the subject together.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 1 Feb 10:
A few initial thoughts on the announcement of the book. An brief discussion of who Hugh Nibley is for non-Mormon readers
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 2 Feb 12:
A brief discussion of Beck's claims regarding a conspiracy of violence in Mormonism.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 3 Feb 15:
A very brief mention of some of the exaggerations of Provo life along with some links to false memory syndrome discussions.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 4 Feb 16:
Oprah has decided to promote the book on her web site.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 5 Feb 21:
A few of the many errors in the book.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 6 Feb 23:
Nibley has died and the family has up a defense.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 7 Feb 26:
Discussion of false memories and cognitive studies.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 8 Feb 26:
Discussion of some charges against Boyd Peterson's review.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 9 Feb 26:
Book review by Jeff Needle.
Beck, Leaving the Saints Part 10 Feb 26:
Beck on various Utah NPR stations.
The events are, by any measure a horrible tragedy. If you believe that Beck is someone with a long history of mental illness who has adopted, over time, various false memories, then some of the family's restraint is understandable. They've said in many places that despite all the pain Beck's claims have, that they still love her. I'd rather hoped that all of this would blow over. However apparently Oprah Winfrey, for whom Beck works, is now promoting the book. I find that extremely tragic given the nature of the book.
Beck has been interviewed by several news shows, including CBS and ABC. However none of these are available online. KUER's RadioWest show did interview both Martha Beck as well as two of her siblings. The Martha Beck interview was on March 29th. The interview with her siblings and then later an interview with Richard McNaley, a psychology professor at Harvard who specializes in memory research was on March 30th. Both links are to streaming MP3s hosted by KUER. KUER generally keeps them up for only a few weeks.
The Millennial Star, a religious group blog I contribute to, in an excellent oblique post on the topic suggested making the controversy a matter of prayer. I found the discussion very helpful for allowing one to pull back and see things from a slightly bigger picture. By Common Consent a more liberal oriented LDS group blog tried to change the topic to what effect the book would have rather than the content of the book. They recently discussed the review of the book by Sunstone. Times and Seasons, the largest LDS group blog has largely remained silent on the issue. The only other blog I know speaking on the topic is A Bird's Eye View which definitely takes the view that the book is a horrible personal attack on an innocent man. My inclination is to that position as well. I should hasten to add, unlike most people commenting on this controversy, I've actually read the book in question.
With regards to tribues, my favorite is one by Russell Fox over at Times and Seasons. Times and Seasons has up a more general tribute as well. Many other blogs and mailing lists have praised Nibley and presented memories of encounters with Nibley or his works. There simply are far too many to list them all.
The New York Times recently had an article on btoh the book and the controversy. It's probably the best article for getting to the heart of the issues involved.
The family has up an official response on a new web site they've put up. That site also includes a fund one can donate to help the family with legal and other fees related to clearing their father's name.
Boyd Peterson, Nibley's biographer and son-in-law has a response to Beck up at FAIR. (It's a slightly modified version from what was up for a time at Sunstone) It's probably the best of all the reviews in that it has far more information about the events Beck describes. He also has a fair number of emails from Beck's husband rebutting several of her key claims. He recently (August) put up a new one there with some recent comments that are quite interesting. Finally he gave at the FAIR conference this summer a presentation, "What I Learned about Life, the Church, and the Cosmos from Hugh Nibley."
Other newspaper articles from early in the controversy can be found in the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. After Nibley's death the Provo Daily Herald had a good tribute. So did the Deseret News. I listed more on my page about Nibley's death.
BYU Studies has up a tribute page with free downloads of Nibley's work published in that journal.
FARMS has up on their main page some links as well as an email address for the family where appreciation can be expressed for Nibley. More significantly they have up dozens of his papers in PDF form that can be read online.
Meridian Magainze has up a very good tribute to Nibley by Dan Peterson and Bill Hamblin. They also have up one of my favorite tributes by Orson Scott Card.
FAIR has up three reviews. The first is by Tom Kimball. Kimball's was the first widely distributed review and I suspect FAIR just got permission to reprint it on their website. (It is also up at AML) The second review is by Allen Wyatt and touches upon many of the errors in the book. It also gets into some of the Egyptology issues that others haven't mentioned. The third review is by Scott Gordon.
Sunstone has up a tribute page to Nibley along with an excellent review by Tania Rands Lyon.
Some might be interested in the review of Beck's last book, which ironically won the AML award. Expecting Adam review 1, review 2