Joseph Smith III: Pragmatic Prophet

Joseph Smith III: Pragmatic Prophet

by Roger D. Launius
     
 

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'This book should be read by every serious scholar of Mormonism and of American religious history--and by persons who love a good story well told.' -Paul M. Edwards, Western Illinois Regional Studies

Overview

'This book should be read by every serious scholar of Mormonism and of American religious history--and by persons who love a good story well told.' -Paul M. Edwards, Western Illinois Regional Studies

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This interesting, well-researched biography of the founder of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints covers the 54 years of his presidency, a tenure marked by Mormon factionalism that he succeeded in controlling. The son of the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith III at first resisted succeeding his father as leader and prophet but, as his biographer underscores, his governance from 1860 until his death in 1914 was fiercely committed to the religious legacy of his parent. Differing in style from the elder Smith's ``sometimes disastrous impracticality,'' his son exemplified rugged individualism with a secular pragmatism that sprang from his legal education. An opponent of polygamy, as proclaimed by Brigham Young, the younger Smith established a viable bureaucracy and a style of leadership that characterizes the Mormon community today, notes the author, a military historian. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library Journal
This is an important appraisal of the man who guided the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for more than a half century. ``Young Joseph'' took his brand of Mormonism in a direction completely different from that of the Utah-based followers of Brigham Young. Smith, who was 12 years old when his father was murdered, ``experienced first hand the hardships and triumphs'' of Mormonism's early years. Though he resembled his father in some ways, the son was a ``practical man, not a visionary and dreamer'' who sought to ``purify'' church doctrinesespecially regarding plural marriageand functioned as a ``manager, planner, promoter, master politician and superb organizer.'' Well written and well researched; for all academic libraries. John R. Sillito, Weber State Coll. Lib., Ogden, Ut .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252065156
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
09/28/1995
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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