Brigham Young and the Expanding American Frontier (Library of American Biography Series) 1st Edition

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0673393227
ISBN-10: 0673393224
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (January 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0673393224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0673393227
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,681,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on December 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Brigham Young and the Expanding American Frontier" is a fine, brief biographical study of the Mormon leader who succeeded in taking leadership of the single largest faction of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints following the death of founder Joseph Smith Jr. in 1844. Written by one of my close personal friends, so I am not an unbiased reviewer, this book captures well in the relatively short text the life of this remarkable leader who took his followers to the Great Basin, created a theocratic society on the western frontier, and established Mormonism as a major homegrown North American religion. Newell G. Bringhurst is professor of history at the College of the Sequoias in California, and the author of several important books and articles on the history of Mormonism.

He gives full credit to Brigham Young's genius and creativity as a religious leader, and to his commitment to what Young viewed as the core teachings of Joseph Smith. After a discussion of Young's birth and early history, Bringhurst traces his career from his conversion to Mormonism, his experience in the travails of the church's early history, his call as an Apostle in 1835, his mission to England, the assassination of Joseph Smith and his succession to president of the church, the westward exodus to Utah, the creation of a theocratic empire in the Rockies, controversies with the federal government, and his eventual death in 1877.

In several areas Bringhurst offers suggestive explanations of important aspects of Young's life. For example, Young embraced plural marriage in the 1840s as a religious tenet of Mormonism, despite its controversial nature within the U.S. and his personal difficulties with several of his wives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrick W. Crabtree VINE VOICE on August 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a somewhat controversial work but American history buffs who seek a refreshing literary anomaly in an effort to wean themselves from mundane and traditional fare will enjoy Bringhurst's Brigham Young and the Expanding American Frontier (Library of American Biography Series) (Library of American Biography). Conversely, those who find themselves unable to cite the correct date for the outbreak of the American Civil War would probably do well to steer clear of this one until they have achieved a more firm grasp of "Manifest Destiny" as well as at least a cursory knowledge of the various early religious movements in America. The reason for this caution is that Bringhurst casts a very broad net which solidly captures the peripheral history of the period.

Brigham Young was a controversial figure even before he first achieved fame as the second renowned leader of the Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a.k.a. LDS Church). Joseph Smith was the founder and "Prophet" of this religious movement, Young's predecessor.

Bringhurst apportions the travels and diverse activities of Brigham Young in digestible, logically-contrived morsels. This chronicle can be encapsulated into the following episodes:

1. Brigham Young and the Mormons during the Joseph Smith leadership.

2. The "planning period" following Smith's death.

3. The pre-migration (to Utah) period.

4. The post-immigration or settlement period (Salt Lake City).

Young was born in Vermont in 1801 and reared in an environment which Bringhurst describes as, "...austere, ascetic Methodism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Fauvor on April 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and appreciated the unbiased writing of Professor Bringhurst. He does not state his personal opinions on Joseph Smith. As a historian, he is simply presenting the researched facts. I am not Mormon, so I learned a great deal about the origins of the religion. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to learn more about Brigham Young and the history of Mormonism.
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By Bryce on October 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bringhurst has produced a great biography on Brigham Young. It is short yet inclusive. It spans Young's entire life, giving a total picture of who he was. While sympathetic to Young, it leaves nothing untouched: polygamy, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the Utah War, business transactions that made him rich, the handcart tragedy, and anything else unsightly. Bringhurst is critical in his analysis but fair in his judgement. This biography isn't all about what Young did. It takes a focus on showing Young's development, capturing his emotions and reactions to events.
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2 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Historian on July 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
While the premise of this book is to use BY to show how the American west expanded, it is deeply flawed by being largely uncritical of the absurd foundations of the Mormon "church". The author lays out what Joseph Smith made up out of whole cloth and called a religion, but then does not go in depth about how preposterous it is, and never really gets into why BY bought into the whole fraud.
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