Journal of Mormon History 34 (Summer 2008)

So, in an effort to quell my journal cover snark, the Executive Committee of the Journal of Mormon History decided to extend to me an invitation to join the Editorial Board. You’ll notice a couple of other additions to the Board on the masthead of the most recent issue: Ardis and Sam MB. By contrast, they were selected for their salutary prolificacy. As a consequence, I won’t be doing critical reviews of the JMH issues. We will likely have someone else review in the future, but for the time being, I will offer a non-critical overview of the recent issue (though please add your critical thoughts in the comments). Behold, the bookreviewish goodness:

1. Leonard J. Arrington, “The Many Uses of Humor.”
This is obviously posthumous publication was delivered by Arrington at a BYU Lecture series. After a brief introduction to some theory of humor, Arrington delves into Mormon humor. Some fun tie-ins with some of Ardis’s recent posts. As well, he highlights my mom’s aunt’s masters thesis, Lucile J. Butler, “Ephraim Humor” (M.A. thesis, UU, 1950). I need to get a copy of that. Some great family lore surrounding it.

23. J. Spencer Fluhman, “An “American Mahomet”: Joseph Smith, Muhammad, and the Problem of Prophets in Antebellum America.”
Fluhman, who has done some great work on historic anti-Mormonism contrasts rhetoric surround Joseph Smith and Muhammad and tries to get at what similarities might mean.

46. William D. Russell, “The Last Smith Presidents and the Transformation of the RLDS Church.”
There are a lot of misunderstandings about what the Community of Christ is all about and how they got to be in their current situation. This article briefly reviews the major players in the modern Church and the major issues at play.

85. Irene M. Bates, “The Wives of the Patriarchs.”
Bates, who co-authored the splendid history on the Presiding Patriarchs, Lost Legacy, here offers a brief introduction to the various women in the lives of the Patriarchs.

110. H. Michael Marquardt, “Emily Dow Partridge Smith Young on the Witness Stand: Recollections of a Plural Wife.”
I have had some questions about the Temple Lot case (and the subsequent Herald House documentary publication) for a while and Marquardt gives some background. He gives a history of Emily Dow Partridge and then chronicles her testimony for the case. Her testimony is important for those interested in polygamy because, as Compton showed, she testified, albeit rather uncomfortably, to having had “carnal intercourse” with the Prophet Joseph to whom she was married.

142. William Shepard, “The Concept of a “Rejected Gospel” in Mormon History, Part 2.”
This is the second of a series on the idea of the “rejected gospel” and chronicles how various Prairie Saint schismatics used ideas about it to position themselves. My review of part one is available here.

Book Reviews
187. Jennifer L. Lund reviews Melissa Lambert Milewski, ed., Before the Manifesto: The Life Writings of Mary Lois Walker Morris.

191. Thomas G. Alexander reviews B. Carmon Hardy, ed., Doing the Works of Abraham: Mormon Polygamy, Its Origin, Practice, and Decline.

196. Bill Shepard reviews Ron Romig, ed., Emma’s Nauvoo.

198. Jeff Needle reviews Ron Romig, ed., Martin Harris’s Kirtland.

200. J. Stapley reviews Kent P. Jackson and Andrew C. Skinner, eds., A Witness for the Restoration: Essays in Honor of Robert Matthews.

203. Stanford J. Layton reviews Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith, Frontier Children.

205. Kenneth and Audry Godfrey reviews Glenn Cuerden, Images of American Nauvoo.

207. Sam MB reviews W. Paul Reeve, Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes.

211. Boyd Jay Petersen reviews William A. Wilson, The Marrow of Human Experience: Essays on Folklore.

214. Alan L. Morrell reviews Ronald S. Hanson, Early Mormon Tithing Offices and Mormon Currency Innovations.

216. Douglas D. Alder reviews Richard Richards, Climbing the Political Ladder, One Rung at a Time.

219. Gary James Bergera reviews Christian Euvard, Louis Auguste Pertrand (1808-1875): Journaliste Socialiste at Pionnier Mormon.

225. Ken Driggs reviews Brian C. Hales, Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto.

228. Robert M Hogge reviews Marcie Gallecher and Kerri Robinson, A Banner is Unfurled and Be Still My Soul.

232. Robert A. Rees reviews Wayne C. Booth, My Many Selves: The Quest for a Plausible Harmony.

235. Stephen C. Tayson reviews Jedediah S. Rogers, ed., In the President’s Office: The Diaries of L. John Nuttall, 1872-1892.

238. Michael Harold Paulos reviews Jeff Benedict, The Mormon Way of Doing Business.

242. Jed Woodworth reviews Dan Vogel, ed., Early Mormon Documents, 5 vols.

246. Jeddediah S. Rogers reviews Donald G. Godfrey and Kenneth W. Godfrey, eds., The Diaries of Charles Ora Card: The Utah Years, 1871-1886.

248. John-Charles Duffy reviews Terryl L. Givens, People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture.

254. Daniel Walker Howe reviews Michael K. Winder, Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America’s Presidents and the LDS Church.

257. Jill N. Crandell reviews Burr Fancher, Captain Alexander Fancher: Adventurer, Drover, Wagon Master and Victim of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

263. Kylie Nielson Turley reviews Susanna Morrill, White Roses on the Floor of Heaven. Mormon Women’s Popular Theology, 1880-1920.

268. Dlora Hall Dalton and Dawn Hall Anderson reviews Eric Swedin, The Killing of Greybird.


  1. John Hamer says:

    Mine just came in the mail — lots of familiar faces and so many book reviews! Thanks for the summary and congrats on your new gig on the editorial board. Watch out lest they trick you into becoming editor when Lavina retires…

  2. Thanks, Hamer, and congrats to Ardis and Sam! I’m anxious to see who the new editor will be, though.

  3. Researcher says:

    Congratulations, J. Stapley. Will all future comments on the cover art be directed toward you? :-)

    (Also kudos to Ardis and SamMB.)

    the bookreviewish goodness

    That’s a good way to put it. The Journal does seem a little bottom-heavy.

    (No criticism meant!)

    “Ephraim Humor” sounds great. I can’t think of any other ethnic group of Mormons besides the Danes whose history is so inseparable from their humor.

  4. Congrats to J., Ardis, and Sam. Great news!

    (And this edition looks packed with goodness.)

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    Well deserved congratulations to Ardis, J. and Sam!

    And thanks for the summary notice of the issue. I’m lagging behind on my reading and so far have just one review (Jed’s of EMD), but I’ll get to it all eventually.

  6. Thanks all. Apparently, Aunt Lucille wired up my grandfathers cabin to record audio and then brought a bunch of the old-timers (this must have been in the late 1940’s) and served food. The resulting recordings served as the source material for the thesis. Further after she finished, there was an article in the Trib with a picture of my grandfather and the caption read, “Funniest man in Ephraim,” or something to that effect.

  7. Thanks for the write-up, J. and congrats to you, Sam, and Ardis. Fluhman’s piece is a chapter from his dissertation (and forthcoming book) and is a great read. Also, I was struck that JMH managed to get Daniel Walker Howe (Pulitzer Prize winning historian) to review Presidents and Prophets. While on the one hand I’m thrilled to see historians of his stature reviewing books for JMH, I wish he would have reviewed something more academically-important. Anybody have any details on the story behind his reviewing that book?

  8. Congrats to all three.

    I have read all the articles except for Shepard’s so far, as well as most of the reviews, and I have to say that this was a well put-together issues. Kudos to all involved.

  9. I too thought this was a terrific issue. Well done.

    And I echo Christopher’s comments on kudos for obtaining a review by Daniel Walker Howe. I thought Howe’s What Hath God Wrought volume was one of the finest history books I have read in a long time, and deepened my understanding of the United States at the time of the Restoration and through Joseph Smith’s administration.

  10. Congratulations to all 3 of you!

  11. Congrats to J., Ardis, and Sam, and thanks for the review, J. Ditto on Chris’s comment about Howe.

  12. The cover is not bad, but it reminds me a bit too much of the Fall 1996 and Fall 2004 covers. (I have all the covers framed and placed on the walls of my office.)

  13. Smart move, JMH. Congrats.

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