Random House, Inc. “From one of the brightest of the new generation of Mormon-studies scholars comes a crisp, engaging account of the religion’s history.”—The Wall Street Journal With Mormonism on the nation’s radar as never before, religious historian Matthew Bowman has written an essential book thatpulls back the curtain on more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church’s origins and explains how the Mormon vision has evolved—and with it the esteem in which Mormons have been held in the eyes of their countrymen. Admired on the one hand as hardworking paragons of family values, Mormons have also been derided as oddballs and persecuted as polygamists, heretics, and zealots. The place of Mormonism in public life continues to generate heated debate, yet the faith has never been more popular. One of the fastest-growing religions in the world, it retains an uneasy sense of its relationship with the main line of American culture.
Mormons will surely play an even greater role in American civic life in the years ahead. The Mormon People comes as a vital addition to the corpus of American religious history—a frank and balanced demystification of a faith that remains a mystery for many.
With a new afterword by the author.
“Fascinating and fair-minded . . . a sweeping soup-to-nuts primer on Mormonism.”—The Boston Globe “A cogent, judicious, and important account of a faith that has been an important element in American history but remained surprisingly misunderstood.”—Michael Beschloss “A thorough, stimulating rendering of the Mormon past and present.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[A] smart, lucid history.”—Tom Brokaw
Baker & Taylor With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of the nation. In 1830, a young seer named Joseph Smith began organizing adherents into a new religious community that would come to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known informally as the Mormons). Here, religious historian Matthew Bowman presents more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church's origin and development, explains how Mormonism came to be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world by the turn of the 21st century, and sets the scene for a 2012 presidential election that has the potential to mark a major turning point in the way this faith is perceived by the wider American public--and internationally.--From publisher description.