Books: Newly Published and Shortly to Appear

I thought I’d post a mini-review or two of recently published books in the Mormon genre and at least notice a few impressive pieces that will turn up shortly. Warning: not an exhaustive list.

First I want to call out Don Bradley’s new book, The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories (Greg Kofford Books, 2019).

Don Bradley


Don Bradley has had a decades-long interest in the contents of Joseph Smith’s initial translation effort, lost after being loaned to one of his first secretaries, Martin Harris. Bradley appeals to several obscure sources to ferret out stories of the Nephite civilization possibly told in the missing manuscript, and discover what happened to the missing text: spoiler—Don supplies arguments that the missing text may have been much longer than 116 manuscript pages–a number derived from the final Book of Mormon manuscript—you’ll have to read it to get the scoop. It’s fun to watch Bradley play detective with a number of clues to what may have been in the missing text. Written largely for believing Saints, it’s an interesting and timely excursion into a neglected issue in Latter-day Saint literature.
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Our own non-profit, BCC Press, has several new volumes that will appeal to a wide range of readers. The Press page will give you a taste of that range: poetry, fiction, history, autobiography, theology, etc., etc. And yours truly may be adding a volume to the list this year.
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Well known Mormon scholar and historian Ben Park’s new book looking at the the Mormon world of Nauvoo in the broader context of American history will be on shelves shortly.

Benjamin E. Park

Look for Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier. It’s already generating a lot of buzz.
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Also a few weeks away is another fascinating volume, this one from University of Utah Press, Producing Ancient Scripture: Joseph Smith’s Translation Projects in the Development of Mormon Christianity, edited by Michael Hubbard MacKay (BYU) Mark Ashurst-McGee (Joseph Smith Papers), and Brian M. Hauglid. The book has contributions from many front line scholars like Rachel Cope, Ann Taves, Richard Bushman, Grant Hardy, Jared Hickman, Amy Easton-Flake, Terryl Givens, Thom Wayment, Sam Brown, David Grua, Gerritt Dirkmaat, Matt Grey, Nick Frederick, Dave Golding, Chris Blythe, and the volume editors (even I get a little air time–don’t let that stop you from adding it to your collection). Due mid-February or so. This volume will create a number of new spaces for discussion of Joseph Smith’s work as a translator. I hesitate to write down the overused term “blockbuster” but I think it fits. If you’re coming to the Mormon History Association conference in Rochester, NY this year, (June 2-7), look for the session on the book featuring a panel of chapter authors.

That’s your update for the moment. More to come.

Comments

  1. (gets back to editing)

  2. Big brains never seem to sleep.

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    Lots of good stuff in the queue; thanks for laying this all out.