Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith

This book is written by Matthew Bowman and published by Random House in 2012.  It is an outline of Mormon history in general, but has a chapter on the polygamy question.  Of course this chapter is less intense on the overall picture of polygamy as some of the books I have looked at.  The book introduced me to the term "The Raid" describing the onslaught of federal marshals after the Edmunds Act in 1882.  Even with this increased scrutiny, polygamy was not going away.  The Edmunds Tucker Act went after The Church directly, seeking to take all their financial resources, which would have included the temples.  At this time St. George, Logan, and Manti temples were completed, with the Salt Lake Temple to follow shortly.  Can you imagine what would have happened had the government confiscated these buildings.  It was under this pressure, that President Wilford Woodruff received revelation of what would happen to the church if it did not abandon polygamy.  The Manifesto was of 1890 was the announcement that the church would no longer practice polygamy.
The other chapters do not really add to Isaac's history as they are about the Church in general.  It scarcely mentions the handcarts, and really doesn't address the economics in Salt Lake Valley.

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