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Formerly at UCLA and now the editor of Mormonism and Early Christianity, Compton has compiled a meticulously researched and masterly study of Mormon Joseph Smith's 33 wives. The women are presented individually, with many of their own documents cited. Compton contends that "Mormon polygamy was characterized by a tragic ambiguity": infinite dominion in the next life vs. a social system that did not work, thus resulting in acute neglect of the wives. These "key women have been comparatively forgotten," surprisingly so considering the reverence Mormons hold for their founding prophet and how important polygamy was to Smith. The "sacred loneliness" refers to Smith's promise of salvation combined with the solitude of the forsaken multiple wives. A plenary reference and bibliography and a collection of the wives' photographs fill out this tome, making it a fascinating work. Valuable for both lay readers and scholars, this is recommended for public and academic libraries with good collections in history and women's studies.?Kay Meredith Dusheck, Anamosa, IA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Mr Compton has done a great job of research but he draws his own conclusions about what happened in between actual happenings and dates. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cleone Peterson
Plan on spending a long time reading to get through this well orchestrated and detailed book. Very interesting non-fiction history.Published 2 months ago by gtodan
It was everything I thought it would be. Sometimes life is hard to swallow. I would rather know the truth about JS 's plural marriages, than find out after a lifetime of thinking... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Marilyn Clawson
The book is good for information. However, I do not recommend it for anyone who truly wants to know more about Mormon polygamy. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Linda
I anticipated that it might be an anti-LDS book but it is very open and honestly written.Published 4 months ago by JAMES R BAKER
Very interesting book. I love learning about early women in the church that played such a huge role.Published 8 months ago by Heather Ramirez
Excellent book that presented the raw facts in one place and in an unbiased manner. The reader is left to draw his or her own conclusions based on the evidence that Todd Compton... Read morePublished 9 months ago by James
Wow! What an interesting book; I was torn between giving it 5 stars or 1 star; I ended up giving it 1 star. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kyle Kenley Kopitke
I purchased this book before I got married. I thought it was interesting. My wife is more into Mormon history than I am. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer