New Books Network

Christopher J. Blythe, “Terrible Revolution: Latter-day Saints and the American Apocalypse” (Oxford UP, 2020)
In Terrible Revolution: Latter-day Saints and the American Apocalypse (Oxford UP, 2020), Christopher James Blythe examines apocalypticism across the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, particularly as it took shape in the writings and visions of the laity. The responses of the church hierarchy to apocalyptic... Read More
Richard G. Moore, “The Writings of Oliver Olney: April 1842 to February 1843-Nauvoo, Illinois” (Greg Kofford Books, 2020)
Oliver H. Olney, an early convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, fled to Nauvoo, Illinois, following persecution in Missouri. In Nauvoo, Olney became disgruntled with church leadership and viewed Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet. His writings, consisting of journal entries, letters, and booklets, express his... Read More
Thomas Richards Jr., “Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of Jacksonian America” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2020)
In Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of Jacksonian America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020), Thomas Richards Jr., a history teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, argues that the map of North America was not preordained. Richards uses the Republic of Texas, the 1830s Patriot War, the Mormon exodus, and several... Read More
Samuel Morris Brown, “Joseph Smith’s Translation: The Words and Worlds of Early Mormonism” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith, claimed to have translated ancient scriptures. He dictated an American Bible from metal plates reportedly buried by ancient Jews in a nearby hill, and produced an Egyptian “Book of Abraham” derived from funerary papyri he extracted from a collection of mummies he bought from a traveling... Read More
Derek R. Sainsbury, “Storming the Nation: The Unknown Contributions of Joseph Smith’s Political Missionaries” (BYU RSC, 2020)
Derek R. Sainsbury’s, Storming the Nation: The Unknown Contributions of Joseph Smith’s Political Missionaries (BYU RSC, 2020), uncovers the significant but previously unknown contributions of the electioneers who advocated for Joseph Smith’s 1844 presidential campaign. The focus is the cadre of more than six hundred political missionaries—who they were before... Read More
Joe Geisner, “Writing Mormon History: Historians and Their Books” (Signature Books, 2020)
Every great book has a great backstory. In Joe Geisner’s new edited work, Writing Mormon History: Historians and Their Books (Signature Books, 2020), well-known historians describe their journeys of writing books that have influenced our understanding of the Mormon past, offering an unprecedented glimpse into why they wrote these important works. Writing Mormon History is a... Read More
Scott C. Esplin, “Return to the City of Joseph: Modern Mormonism’s Contest for the Soul of Nauvoo” (U Illinois Press, 2019)
In the mid-twentieth century, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) returned to Nauvoo, Illinois, home to the thriving religious community led by Joseph Smith before his murder in 1844. The quiet farm town became a major Mormon heritage site visited annually by tens of thousands of people.... Read More
Larry E. Morris, “A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon” (Oxford UP, 2019)
The story of the creation of the Book of Mormon has been told many times, and often ridiculed. A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon (Oxford University Press, 2019), by Larry E. Morris, presents and examines the primary sources surrounding the origin of the foundational text of the Church of Jesus... Read More
Melvin C. Johnson, “Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West” (Greg Kofford Books, 2019)
Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West (Greg Kofford Books, 2019) narrates the wide-ranging life of John Hawley’s search for an authentic Mormon faith. Melvin C. Johnson has been researching Hawley’s adventurous life along the American borderlands and frontier for three decades. Hawley was... Read More
Harvard S. Heath, “Confidence Amid Change: The Presidential Diaries of David O. McKay, 1951-1970” (Signature Books, 2019)
The diaries of the ninth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are a collaboration between David O. McKay and his long-time secretary Clare Middlemiss. During the day Middlemiss would take dictation, attend meetings, handle correspondence, and listen to telephone conversations, making recordings and transcripts and taking... Read More