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The LDS History Canon; Or, a Mormon Comps List

By: Ben P - January 26, 2011

At the award-winning US Intellectual History Blog, David Sehat took on the monumental task of outlining the US History Canon (he had previously done a list on the 19th century here). Designed primarily as a template for a comprehensive exams reading list, it also aims to be a great source on standard debates in historiography. Here is the stated goal:

Come up with a list of truly canonical books that everyone who has gone to graduate school in U.S. history should have read. This is not just a list of intellectual and cultural history–it is supposed to include all the major works in modern U.S. history in all the different sub-specialties. In certain cases where an article was substantially the same as an important book, we added the article instead. We also left out many good books and books that would help to fill out a coherent narrative, trying instead to arrive at a truly canonical list. That is, of course, an impossible task, given the fragmentation and specialization of the historiography of the United States. But we thought it worth the effort in any case.

Of course, these types of lists are more to provoke discussion than to be a definitive statement. A so-called “canon” is more often a reflection of the compiler’s interests and background than an objective judging of the entire breadth of scholarship.

As a sucker for these types of lists, mostly because it gives a chance for reflection on the state of Mormon scholarship and it always reminds me of specific works I still need to read, I was hoping we could banter a little and come up with a similar type of list for Mormon history. The bloggernacle has had no shortage of these types of posts (see most recently here, but also here), but I hope we can build on those past threads and try to come up with an actual list.

Imagine that a PhD program in history or religious history allowed one field of a student’s comprehensive exams to be in LDS history,* what books would be required reading? I’m going to make the number shorter than typical comp lists, and make a cap at 25 books + 1 article. That means if you want to add a book, you need to state which book you’d remove. Also, the list needs to cover the entire two centuries of Mormonism, though this will be difficult since, as we have often noted on the blog, the lack of major works on the twentieth century. And this may be the first (of many) revelations of my own interests and background, but I give preference to books that shed light on broader themes and which use sophisticated academic methodologies—this is for a theoretical academic institution, anyway. But, these preferences don’t apply to all books that I think are important.

Despite for one exception each, I decided to leave out biographies, articles, and article collections, for several reasons. I also left out primary sources, because that would open up another can of worms. But this just means we will have to do another list for each of those categories!

Without further ado, the list, which I broke up into general themes and chronologies:

*Note: I am not saying that such a field should be available for one’s comprehensive exams. In fact, I think a student dedicating one of likely 4 comprehensive exam fields to Mormonism would be a terrible idea.

____________________________________________________________________

General Overviews

Leonard Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-Day Saints, revised ed. (1992)

Terryl Givens, A People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture (2007)

Thomas O’Dea, The Mormons (1957)

Jan Shipps, Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition (1985)

Origins

John L. Brooke, The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 (1994)

Richard Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (2005)

Terryl Givens, By The Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion (2002)

Grant Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism (1993)

Utah, Part I: Settlement

Leonard Arringon, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1900 (1958)

Kathryn Daynes, More Wives than One: The Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910 (2001)

Sarah Barringer Gordon, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth Century America (2001)

Paul Reeve, Making Space on the Mormon Frontier (2007)

Utah, Part II: Transition

Thomas Alexander, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1890-1830 (1986)

Kathleen Flake, The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle (2003)

International Church / Assimilation

Philip Jenkins, “Letting Go: Understanding Mormon Growth in Africa,” Journal of Mormon History (Spring 2009): 1-26.

Edward Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball (2005)

Armand Mauss, The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation (1994)

Reid Neilson, Early Mormon Missionary Efforts in Japan, 1901-1924 (2010)

Gregory Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (2005)

Thematic

Philip Barlow, Mormons and the Bible: The Place of the Latter-Day Saints in American Religion (1991)

Claudia Bushman, ed., Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah (1997)

Douglas Davies, The Mormon Culture of Salvation: Force, Grace, and Glory (2000)

Jill Derr, Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society (2002)

Armand Mass, All Abraham’s Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage (2003)

Broader Context

Nathan O. Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity (1989)

E. Brooks Holifield, Theology in America: Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War (2003)

_____________________________________________________________________

Alright, now for the debate: what did I miss? What would you add?

But remember the rules: if you add a book, you have to take one away. And hopefully we will make other lists that deal with articles, biographies, article collections, and primary sources.



36 Comments

  1. A few points:

    1. I wanted to include Walker et. all’s Massacre at Mountain Meadows, but in the end I decided it was too narrow for a list like this.

    2. A few recent and forthcoming books will likely make this list in short order, including volumes by SC Taysom, Spencer Fluhman, Pat Mason, and Sam Brown. I actually considered putting all four of these on the list already, but in the end decided to wait until the next list so that they will have all been read and appreciated.

    3. I was very tempted to put Leigh Eric Schmidt’s Hearing Things on the list in the “broader context” section, since I think he outlines many of the issues that early Mormonism dealt with, but I couldn’t justify knocking off another book. A shame, really.

    4. I went back and forth several times, but ended up not including anything by Quinn. While his work was monumental to New Mormon History, I just couldn’t get over the problems with his works.

    Comment by Ben — January 26, 2011 @ 11:43 am

  2. Wow. This is a damn good canon, Ben. I’m going to have to think hard to come up with any replacements or additions. Maybe an additional category of best homiletic or church-produced books? Could include Roberts’s dated but still useful Comprehensive History. But that wouldn’t fit the scheme you’re presenting here. Which I just now realized since I read the introductory explanation last. So never mind. I’ll keep thinking. I would probably replace People of Paradox with By the Hand of Mormon. It covers some important history of Book of Mormon reception. I liked PoP a lot, but think BtHoM is stronger.

    Comment by BHodges — January 26, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  3. Invaluable!

    Thank you.

    Comment by Mark Brown — January 26, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  4. Perhaps Sisters in Spirit instead of Mormon Sisters? They both have their own strengths and weaknesses. I’ve not read Neilson’s volume on Japan, is it really canonical? I think Hatch is a definite inclusion, but it seems to me that Hollifield is a bit too broad. Great context, and should be on a list for Religious history, but if we are going to open the list to such things there will be skads of other important volumes. If I needed to replace more volumes, I might consider both Givens volumes and O’Dea.

    I think a strong treatment of the Reformation and Utah War would be pretty important. Consequently, MMM or Aird’s volume might be a good inclusion. I think the forthcoming Turner bio of Brigham Young will be essential. I know that you didn’t open it to primary source material, but that is a tremendous weakness of this, I think. Even one or two diaries (e.g., Patty Sessions, Charles Ora Card) or documentary volumes (e.g., Hardy’s polygamy collection) would be helpful, I think. I think Lost Legacy is a nice slice of Mormon ecclesiology. And even though the New Mormon History is out of vogue, I think there are some titles that people need to be familiar with.

    I also think it is too book-centric. There are skads of articles that I would include.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 26, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

  5. Thanks, BH and Mark.

    BH: I do include BTHoM in the “Origins” section. PoP is essential, I think, because of how well it engages cultural themes throughout a broad stretch of time and engages more tensions and issues than other books on Mormonism. It’s really a gem.

    J: thanks for engaging some books, and all good points. I’ll try to treat each in turn:

    -I’d be fine with switching the two “Sisters” volumes. I was just more familiar with the latter than the former, so I’ll take your word for it. I wanted to make sure more women’s history was represented, and Mormon Sisters was what was recommended to me, and I agreed.

    -Neilson’s volume is great, and I figured that it needed to be included because there needed to be more international representation. If this were more of a focus on just American Mormonism, then obviously I would pick something else. As far as international works go, though, Neilson is in a class of his own.

    -I am a big fan of Holifield’s work, and would actually place his volume ahead of Hatch’s for significance in understanding Mormonism’s context. Despite its breadth, it captures the nuances Protestant thought in antebellum America better than most other books.

    -I’m curious as to why you might consider cutting O’Dea and both Givens volumes. O’Dea basically set the stage for how scholarship engages the tensions within Mormon culture. When I read his volume a few years ago, I was amazed at how much Mormon scholarship has been reliant on his original conclusions. As for Givens, I explained above why I really like PoP, but BTHoM is also essential, IMHO, because it set the table for how we engage both the Book of Mormon text and the text’s reception history–a very important driving force in today’s Mormon scholarship. Now, all three works have some major problems, and I agree a case could be made for their exclusion, I would just like to see the argument made.

    -You are spot-on on the dearth of Reformation and Utah War. On my bikeride home after writing this, that is what stood out the most in my mind. Perhaps MMM should be added to fill that space.

    -Agreed on Turner’s bio of Young, as with other soon-to-arrive-books as I mentioned in my above comment.

    -As I mentioned in the post, primary sources are a major exclusion. However, I just took as my model most reading comp lists, and they don’t typically include primary sources.

    -I also agree that there should be some articles. Like I mentioned in the OP, I hope to do a follow-up post with important articles. Perhaps that post, though, should be seen as an extension to this one rather than a separate post.

    Comment by Ben — January 26, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

  6. Yes, I tend to agree. And I didn’t mean to say the O’Dea or Givens needed to be cut, but that is where I might make some room if I needed (so hard to choose). Though I think that the Book of Mormon volume should be the last to go.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 26, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  7. I might consider replacing The Mormon Experience with The Story of the Latter-day Saints. Jan Shipps is on record as saying the latter volume is superior, and while I like them both I think she’s right. But the former volume might be an easier entree for a non-LDS student.

    Comment by Kevin Barney — January 26, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  8. Nice list, though there seems to be a bit of a gap for the Kirtland-Nauvoo periods (or at least a focus on those periods).

    Comment by the narrator — January 26, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  9. I think that you are right, Kev., regarding those titles. The Story is quite useful.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 26, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

  10. Nice list, Ben. I’m with J. in being hesitant to use Holifield here—but I’m not sure off the top of my head what else I would use.

    Re: more articles and primary sources. If this is (hypothetically) for comprehensive exams, use of either would really depend on whether you were reading (and being examined) on historiography or history. If history, then a mix of books and primary sources seems most useful; but if historiography then books plus articles would be the better fit.

    If you’re reading for historiography, then I think Brodie and Cross need to be included (at least as much as O’Dea). I’d put Brodie in the “origins” section and Cross under “broader context.” If I did that, I would move Underwood to the “thematic” section, and remove one of the titles on women and replace it with several articles on the subject.

    Comment by Christopher — January 26, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

  11. Whoops, my post was supposed to stop after “I’ll keep thinking.” I was going to clear space by removing PoP, started that discussion, then couldn’t think of a replacement yet. Still thinking.

    I’m uncertain as to whether <The Story is preferable to Mormon Experience, though, as has been suggested. ME might be more rhetorically accessible to non-Mormons than SotLDS.

    Comment by BHodges — January 26, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

  12. Kevin: This will be very embarrassing for me, but I’ve never read The Story, so I’ll take everyone else’s word on which of the two volumes is better.

    Narrator: I considered period studies, but determined that one of the overview volumes and Bushman’s RSR would do the job–I don’t see a need for much more of a foundation on Kirtland or Nauvoo (or Missouri, for that matter) than that when we are only limited to 25 books.

    Chris: nice distinction between history and historiography comps. I made the mistake to just assume everyone understood it was historiography, but going back to the post I can see that I wasn’t very clear.

    And re: Brodie and Cross: those are good points.

    Comment by Ben — January 26, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  13. Aha, I didn’t see the 25 cap earlier.

    Comment by the narrator — January 26, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  14. BtHoM, Mormon Experience, and Refiner’s Fire aren’t really all that good, but if this is a historiography comp then I guess they might be worth reading anyway just to say you’ve done it.

    Comment by Christopher Smith — January 26, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  15. This definitely reveals the need for a comprehensive study LDS presence and influence in postwar US politics. Martha S. Bradley’s Pedestals and Podiums is a start but I don’t know that it’s quite far-reaching enough to be part of the canon. I’m kind of surprised that the burgeoning historiography on conservatism has missed the Church.

    I also wonder, given that it has probably been more widely read than any of these books, if Under the Banner of Heaven merits inclusion? I’m finding that there are some popular books I can’t keep off my comps lists (which I am currently drafting) because their influence has been so far reaching. From a teaching perspective (which is shaping my lists big time), I think you would have to know that book because it’s likely the only book on Mormonism that most students have ever read.

    Comment by Melanie — January 26, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  16. Christopher Smith: I think you are cutting those three books short. Refiner’s Fire, though deeply flawed, did engage Mormonism in an intellectual and transatlantic way that had been heretofore neglected. It has influenced non-specialists in the academy more than almost any other book due to the author and its prestigious awards. ME, though dry and dated, is still an impressive survey of lots of themes and issues in a very frank manner. And calling BtHoM just seems silly, as most Mormon and non-Mormon scholars recognize it as a great and important book, not only framing the coming forth of the BoM and its reception history. It was also very significant for identifying the BoM as a tangible sign of restoration to its converts rather than textually convincing. Plus, his section on dialogic revelation in the BoM was groundbreaking and has influenced how we discuss the text.

    Melanie: I think you are absolutely right on your first point re: postwar US, especially with the large historiography on conservatism. Perhaps its because Mormons in the second half of the twentieth century are just too odd and “darling” for most scholars to deal with. Jan Shipps forthcoming book will hopefully rectify that.

    Regarding your second book, I have a hard time including Under the Banner of Heaven mostly because it was so, well, bad. I would hope that its influence didn’t extend further than the immediate post-9/11 cult fascination, but that may just be wishful thinking.

    Comment by Ben — January 26, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  17. “Mormon Experience” was intended for members of the church, SotLDS was intended for those outside of mormonism. I view them as interchangeable depending on the student. I’d put them both in as #1 as an either/or option.

    Comment by Bret — January 26, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

  18. Wasn’t it the other way around, Bret?

    Comment by Christopher — January 26, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  19. Yes, you are right, Christopher. My mistake.

    Comment by Bret — January 26, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  20. Nice list, Ben. I know I’m biased (who isn’t?), but I have a hard time including Reid’s book (no offense to Reid intended here) while excluding Jared Farmer’s On Zion’s Mount, which, due to its broad scope, could easily fit in settlement, transition, or post-WW II Utah. I’m starting to feel like a broken record, because I bring this up every time we do one of these lists (it doesn’t seem to sink in, though), but Farmer’s book was published by Harvard, won major awards, and situates Mormonism within broad themes of American history. /rant

    Although both are increasingly dated, I think both Winn’s Exiles in a Land of Liberty and Hill’s Quest for Refuge are important historiographically on how Mormonism relates to American culture and the nation, especially since they use many of the same sources but come to very different conclusions. I’m not sure who I would bump for them, but they’re worth considering.

    Comment by David G. — January 26, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  21. David: you may sound like a broken record, but I think the fault is more with the rest of us–or at least with me. I think the fact that I have not read it is why I keep leaving it out of discussions like this. My bad. It definitely deserves to be on the list, though.

    I know Reid’s book is an odd choice, but I just strongly felt that the list needed more international representation. but I guess it may need to be cut in this case.

    And an interesting case for Hill and Winn. I was just reminded of them as I read Mark AM’s dissy over the weekend (I know, I’m way behind the times). I don’t know if I would pick them over any othher book on the list, but they are definitely worth considering.

    Comment by Ben — January 26, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  22. No Brodie? Seems to me that even if you consider hers to be the inferior volume (don’t tell DKL!), you still need her to situate the broader problems of lds scholarship.

    Comment by Steve Evans — January 26, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

  23. “what did I miss?”
    You didn’t miss much, but I would also include:
    .Great Basin Kingdom/Arrington
    .Nauvoo, Kingdom on the Mississippi/Flinders
    .The Heaven’s Resound/Backman (obviously apologetic, but filled with good stuff about Kirtland)

    and, although you are leaving out biographies, I’ve learned a ton of history from Donna Hill (JS), Alexander (WW), Breck England (O.Pratt),
    VanWagoner (S.Rigdon), Davis Bitton (G.Q.Cannon)
    P.P.Pratt (auto), and many others.

    Comment by larryco_ — January 26, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  24. Thanks, Ben.

    Larry, Great Basin Kingdom is on the list and I think Ben’s explanation in #12 to #8 covers Flanders and Backman.

    The bios are great, but given the constraints of the list in the OP, I dont know that I’d replace any of the books named with any of those bios.

    Steve (22), two JS bios would probably be overkill and there’s no question that Bushman’s is a superior work.

    Comment by Jared T — January 26, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

  25. Ben, I rather enjoy book lists and love the comments.

    The Refiner’s Fire discussion is interesting too. As it turns out, the other day (for fun) I was reading several academic reviews of Brooke. One I found interesting was by Louis J. Kern in Utopian Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2 (1995), pp. 150-152. According to Kern, “Brooke’s work falls into the category of the New Intellectual History, which is predominantly cultural-intellectual” in contrast to “that older school of interpretation [which] might best be characterized by the term social-intellectual history.” Who wouldn’t love Kern’s observation that “A potential difficulty for a structuralist study like Refiner’s Fire is that its stress on intellectual continuity will betray it into a statically synchronic treatment of an historically complex and dynamic movement.”

    Another exciting review is by Charles L. Cohen in The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 53, No. 1, Material Culture in Early America (Jan., 1996), pp. 213-215. Overwhelmingly positive, Cohen does sneak in a small criticism. “The Refiner’s Fire is a bravura performance, marred perhaps by overabundant details, a few unsupported assertions (for example, Smith’s putative willingness to be martyred [pp. 182, 263, 281]), and a tendency to oblique explanations, but still powerfully persuasive and illuminating.”

    Rachelle E. Friedman’s review, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 329-331, introduces us to the juicy word “transatlantic.” Her review is largely positive although she too sneaks in some minor quibbles. “Familial ties and local traditions, often generations old, with their perfectionistic ways and beliefs, “prepared” people in upstate New York and Vermont to be receptive to Smith’s message. Smith himself came from a family with ties to the occult: The aunt by marriage of his great-great grandfather was Mary Easty, one of the accused witches in Salem in 1692. Brooke may be stretching familial influence on this point.”

    Myron A. Marty, The Journal of Religion, Vol. 76, No. 4 (Oct., 1996), pp. 647-648, gives a foreboding conclusion. Cue the somber music here. “For Mormons, Brooke’s conclusions pose a challenge, for they call into question cherished beliefs about their origins. Nonetheless, refuting them will be difficult.”

    Mormon reviewers were than less enthusiastic about Brooke’s work. Grant Underwood, writing in Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 65, No. 2 (May, 1996), pp. 323-324 cuts to the chase: “In the final analysis, The Refiner’s Fire is not a volume that I can recommend. Nonspecialists may be impressed with the book’s engagement with a wide range of historical literature and its literary style, but it is not a book that is likely to persuade historians of Mormonism.” Underwood reveals that the “primary problem” is “parallelomania.” How’s that for alliteration?

    But perhaps my favorite review by a Mormon historian was Richard Bushman in “The Mysteries of Mormonism,” Journal of the Early Republic, Vol. 15, No. 3, Special Issue on Gender in the Early Republic (Autumn, 1995), pp. 501-508. Not satisfied with just reviewing one book, Bushman provides a quartet review, bringing in Quinn, Van Wagoner, and The Journals of William E. McLellin. I don’t know how Bushman is able to offer a sympathetic, encouraging and yet subtly devastating review, but he does. “Rather than being mere coincidence or a reinvention by Joseph Smith, these doctrines, Brooke claims, traversed definable paths from late Renaissance Europe to the northeastern United States in the nineteenth century. The path has to have been fairly broad, for if the argument is to work, hermeticism had to have made a powerful impact on Joseph Smith and on a large proportion of the people who believed him. . . But even the faulty comparison puts Mormonism in a new light. One of Brooke’s achievements is to broaden the scope of the religious in the nineteenth-century, as David Hall, Phillip Gura, and others have done for the seventeenth century and Jon Butler and Stephen Marini for the eighteenth.”

    Comment by aquinas — January 26, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

  26. Another vote for Farmer’s book. It is the work of Mormon history I am most likely to recommend to someone who is not Mormon or not already immersed in Mormon history. It is outstanding.

    Ben, unfortunately the way you’ve framed the question means I have to offend someone I like if I suggest Farmer, so I am just going to conscientiously object.

    And PS, I think Schmidt’s Hearing Things did more to energize and clarify my thinking about early Mormonism than perhaps any other book.

    And PPS, I just don’t think Brodie matters that much. If you want a biography from an outsider, I recommend Remini’s Penguin Lives (even if he is a little obsessed with Jackson) over Brodie any day of the week.

    And although I disagree with Brooke on various points in my own writings, I think Refiner’s Fire is a great book that belongs on this list. Not because it’s a perfectly reliable account of the provenance of Mormon belief, but because it’s a great, interesting history of early modern Atlantic hermeticism that provides some structural details relevant to aspects of understanding Smith and the early Mormons.

    Comment by smb — January 27, 2011 @ 12:25 am

  27. Steve: Jared and smb said primarily what I would say about Brodie, primarily that I can’t justify two JS bios. However, if I were the comps supervisor, I would strongly encourage the student to read Brodie in their freetime—it reads like a novel since she is such an exquisite author. See, problem solved! :)

    Larry: Like Jared said, I did include Great Basin Kingdom, and I just couldn’t justify period studies in this cramped list. And I agree that bios are important; I just decided that since biography has been such a large part of Mormon scholarship, I would have to leave them to their own list. I made exceptions for only Bushman (most important for early Mormonism), and Prince and Kimball (no other work really deals with those periods of Church history).

    Aquinas: Thanks for the overview of Refiner’s reviews; I agree that it is a fascinating topic to see the reception history of the book. We’ve been bouncing around the idea of a forum reassessing Refiner’s Fire, which I hope will be rekindled soon.

    smb: great comment. I agree that I was blind for not including Farmer–I’m currently in the repentance process. And like I said in comment #1: I was very sad to cut Schmidt, as I agree that it is brilliant in laying out the context Mormonism developed in.

    Comment by Ben — January 27, 2011 @ 1:33 am

  28. Ben–

    A great list! There is something missing however that I don’t think a book extant covers (and something I’ve been thinking that the JI community should tackle). We need a thoughtful and annotated anthology of primary sources (including theology, history, trail diaries, First Presidency statements, ward meeting minutes, etc.). As more courses emerge in which Mormon studies play a central role, I can imagine that one volume that thematically covers the major Mormon writing genres would be very helpful (and popular). I’ll post a proposal for the JI community to think of what such a book might/should include.

    Comment by Max — January 27, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  29. Thanks, Max. Indeed, a singly anthology of relevant primary sources would be great. Terryl Givens and Reid Neilson are in the final stages of their Sourcebook for Mormonism in America (Columbia UP, 2011), which will hopefully work to fill that gap. As you mention, I think a great JI post would be asking, “what would you include in the Sourcebook“?

    Comment by Ben — January 27, 2011 @ 10:57 am

  30. I can’t remember all that is in it, but I have used Mortensen and Mulder’s Among the Mormons in the past. I think it was first published in the 1950s.

    Comment by J. Stapley — January 27, 2011 @ 11:27 am

  31. Among the Mormons includes only material by non-Mormon observers of the Saints. Wonderful reading, but not a sourcebook.

    Comment by bonaventura — January 27, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  32. Put Hansen’s Mormonism and the American Experience in the “General Overviews” section. It’s better than anything there, so take your pick. I’d say move Givens’ cultural (high cultural) history to the “Thematic” section, and knock out Bushman (which is good, but a list as short as this can only include monographs).

    Comment by Mark Ashurst-McGee — January 28, 2011 @ 11:19 am

  33. Nice list. I think what this points out to me more than anything, though, is how badly we need more studies on Mormonism in the 20th century (and not just on the international expansion of the church, although that is a sorely neglected field, especially from the viewpoint of those living in Europe, Asia, South America, etc., rather than just from the viewpoint of missionaries). More environmental studies (such as Farmer’s) would be welcome too.

    Comment by Matt Godfrey — January 28, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  34. Matt: I think you’re exactly right. Thanks for commenting.

    Comment by Ben — January 29, 2011 @ 4:10 am

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