Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Review: Mormon Polygamy: A History: 2nd edition

I started reading this book, and found most of the early chapters to be junk initially.  It seems he was just quoting every rumor and every lie anyone had said about Joseph Smith and his supposed sexual indiscretion.  It seemed to follow the cliche, Joseph decided polygamy was ok because of his sexual appetites.  I read another review, that was positive book, saying the notes toned much of this down, explaining where the quotes came from.  The book left somethings still dangling, but I was reading the book seeking insight into the life of Isaac Wardle.  A couple interesting things, he does explain the cliche thought people had of Mormon polygamy was wrong, it was not a lascivious lifestyle, but one based on accepting a prophet, and complying with that prophet.  It was a lifestyle requiring sacrifice, and was not always easy.  One thing the author noted was that different communities had different rates of polygamous families, ranging from less than five percent of the men who practiced, up to 60 percent in some communities.  It was not a requirement of all members, but people still had agency.
My bottom line, unless you're motivated by a research, leave this book alone, there are better resources. 

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