In the Spring of 1993, federal agents raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. A 51-day standoff ensued. Known as the Waco Siege, it has become a founding myth of the extreme wing of American conservatism, invoked by militiamen, gun rights advocates, and the alt-right. The leader of the evangelical sect, an extreme form of Seventh-Day Adventism, was David Koresh. Born Vernon Howell, he was a preacher, interpreter of the Bible, and obsessed with the coming of the Apocalypse. A charismatic but highly volatile man, he was a former victim of sexual abuse who himself became a sexual predator on a large scale, exploiting many of the women in his compound. Koresh is Stephan Talty's extraordinary, meticulous narration of the events that led up to the Waco Siege. Drawing on new sources, FBI negotiation tapes, and interviews with family and friends, this definitive biography explores how Koresh grew from a young man to a cult leader, and investigates why the siege has become an enduring symbol for radical opponents of the democratic state.
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