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Army Of Israel: Mormon Battalion Narratives Paperback – August 1, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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About the Author

David L. Bigler was born in Provo, Utah, and served in the US Navy in WWII and Korean War. He graduated from the University of Utah and holds an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Southern Utah State College. He is the retired director of public affaris for US Steel. Since 1986 he has devoted full time to the study of Utah and western history. He lives with his wife in Roseville, California.

Will Bagley lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and two children. He attended Brigham Young University and is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz. He serves as editor of the Arthur H. Clark Co. series Kingdom in the West: The Mormons and the American Frontier. The manuscript of his forthcoming study of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, The Blood of the Prophets, won a first place in the Utah Arts Council Original Writing Contest in 1998.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 492 pages
  • Publisher: Utah State University Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874212944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874212945
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,969,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on August 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The significance of the events from 1846-1848 in the history of our country has long been overlooked. Education in many schools jumps from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War; completely disregarding the major influence the Mexican-American War had on our nation. Not only did the war result in the United States increasing it's territory by over a third, but the wealth of mineral resources in California, Arizona, and New Mexico helped to propel the United States to global prominence in the twentieth century. But if the war as a whole is neglected, the unique contributions of a single group to the formation of the U.S. border and to the development of American western migration is almost completely forgotten. The Mormon Battalion, which marched in 1846 from Iowa to California, blazed a trail that would define our nation's borders and history. Published in 2000, ARMY OF ISRAEL: Mormon Battalion narratives gives a fresh look at this regiment's history from their own viewpoint. The editors are both historians with backgrounds in journalism and a special interest in the American Far West. Mr. Bigler is a past president of the Oregon-California Trails Association, founder and first president of the Utah Westerners, and has served on the Utah Board of State History. He has also edited the diary of his great-uncle Azariah Smith, one of the members of the Battalion. Mr. Bagley has edited several books and narratives on the American West and serves as the chief editor of the series KINGDOM IN THE WEST: The Mormons and the American Frontier. The narrative focuses primarily on the events encountered by the battalion during the actual march from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Los Angeles, California in from June 1846 to January 1847.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
David Bigler and Will Bagley successfully collaborated to bring together a series of previously unpublished documents, as well as some published ones, in an outstanding collection of firsthand accounts and other primary sources on and about the Mormon Battalion's epic 1846 U.S. - Mexican War march and their role in securing the Southwest from Mexican control and claiming the territory that would become the states of Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah -- thereby fulfilling the mandate inherent in the concept of "Manifest Destiny". Several eye-witness sourced perspectives are provided including the journal of teenager William Pace, letters from some of the women associated with the battalion; as well as military and government correspondence. Army Of Israel: Mormon Battalion Narratives is a superlatively presented and informative contribution to American history in general, and the role of a unique military command in particular.
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Format: Paperback
This book is very much in the tradition of the great documentary series of the Arthur H. Clark Co., and presents dozens of firsthand accounts and other primary sources regarding the Mormon Battalion's march and subsequent adventures. All of these are expertly introduced and analyzed to present an expansive portrait and detailed record of a large part of the American West and its inhabitants at a crucial juncture in the region's history. This work won the "Best Documentary History Award" presented by the Mormon History Association.

This work offers excellent grist for what I consider the fundamental questions to be explored in the history of the Mormon Battalion and its place in the history of the U.S. West and Mormonism. Among other questions I would like to see considered the following relating to the unit's myth and memory:
* Why does the Mormon Battalion loom so large in the historical consciousness of present-day Mormons? How did it gain this reverential status?
* What writings, reenactments, public commemorations, etc. structured this conception of the past?
* How has the story of the Mormon Battalion been used by Mormons to help create their unique identity?
* Is the story of Mormon pioneering--and the battalion's role in it--critical to the modern Mormon identity? If so, how and why?
* Is the story of the battalion's military service important to Modern Mormonism? If so, how and why?
* What is the historical consciousness of the battalion's role in military history, and how did it attain that particular position?
These are not necessarily questions to be answered in a documentary history such as this, but the sources offered here provide valuable insights that will help in considering them.

Editors David L. Bigler and Will Bagley are to be commended for producing this excellent work, and the publisher must be recognized for its support in making available these invaluable documentary sources..
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