Back in 1976, LDS historians James Allen and Glen Leonard published The Story of the Latter-day Saints, still one of Deseret Book’s finest publications to date. They issued a prophecy that anyone could’ve made: “The history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been written many times before, and will be written again as new information becomes available and as succeeding generations ask fresh questions about their past.”1
More than thirty years later in the middle of this “Mormon Moment,” the MoStudies community has been abuzz about Matt Bowman’s brand spanking new book, The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith (New York: Random House, 2012). Bowman’s opening chapter got me thinking about the use of anecdotes in the opening of such historical overviews. If you were writing such a book, where would you stick your foot in the stream?