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by Ronald W. Walker
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From Library Journal
Three prominent contemporary Mormon historians from Brigham Young University have worked together to produce this definitive historiography of Mormonism, a companion to their bibliography, Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997 (Univ. of Illinois, 2000). The emphasis here is on 20th-century accounts, though some attention is paid to the more contentious writings and biographical materials of the 19th century. The authors evaluate all sources evenhandedly and sort out the various schools of thought regarding the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including recent approaches. Given how controversial these topics can be, their achievement is especially impressive. Two appendixes evaluate print sources about Mormonism and reference sources relating to it. For novices, these sections are worth the price. Recommended for all libraries with American history collections. David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A companion volume to their massive bibliography Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997, this descriptive history by a team of top Mormon scholars provides a comprehensive view of how the writing of Mormon history has evolved since the establishment of the church.
Mormon History offers an interpretive survey of Mormon historical writings, from the partisan and often ephemeral history of the nineteenth century through the shift in the first half of the twentieth toward a more balanced and professional approach and an emphasis on how the Mormons helped settle the American West. Since World War II the "new Mormon history" has focused on broadening the base for understanding Mormonism's history rather than on resolving questions about religious "truth."
In addition to laying out Mormon historiography, Mormon History examines Mormon biography and autobiography and discusses social science literature on the Mormons, including historical and contemporary studies of social geography, rural sociology, and agricultural economics. Two valuable appendices round out this volume, one on the development and nature of Mormon imprints, the other on conducting historical research in Mormon sources.
Taken together, Mormon History and Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997 represent a milestone in recording, cataloguing, and assessing historical interpretations of the LDS church. They are sure to become the tools of choice in conducting research on the Mormons and Mormonism.
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