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Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet Hardcover – September 20, 2012
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One more comparison with Joseph Smith--for many years, Brigham Young: American Moses had served a role much like Joseph Smith: The First Mormon of (at least for believing Mormons) the standard--possibly even definitive in the minds of some--biography. Though Arrington  did achieve a much more effective treatment of Young--using a wealth of uncatalogued contemporary source chaos discovered by Michael Quinn--the result failed to provide a picture of the "man." One left the book without feeling that his thought and drive had been reached. In addition, most of the rough edges of both Young's life and contemporary Mormon history were filed down if not ignored.Read more ›
The book is similar to many other biographies I have read in this: The dramatic is always going to overshadow the ordinary. Brigham Young was President of the Church for 30 years, or about 11,000 days. Since you can't (and shouldn't) get all of that into a biography, what are you going to focus on? Brigham Young hitting the roof is always going to get play, other days not so much. What's the ratio between days of drama and days of quiet, effective administration, counsel and Christian service? Little covered is Brigham's relations with his numerous children.Read more ›
Brigham Young was a mass of contradictions, a misogynist on the one hand and, at times, a proto-feminist on the other. Like most of his contemporaries, he believed blacks were an inferior race, and yet he frequently displayed considerable compassion and generosity towards those in his employ. To his credit, Turner goes to great pains to ensure that the reader refrains from hasty judgments. To the extent possible, he tries to get us to see Brigham through the prism of the 19th Century, not with the hindsight of the 21st.
Perhaps Young's greatest flaw--one that almost destroyed him on more than one occasion--is that he rarely engaged in introspection or second-guessed his own decisions. He was quick to find fault in both his friends and adversaries, but he seemed incapable of discerning "the mote in his own eye" or admitting that he was responsible for a scheme or policy that went awry. Like many other ecclesiastical leaders of his and other churches, both then and today, he was sometimes wrong, but never in doubt. Sadly, his arrogance and stubbornness sometimes resulted in pain, suffering, and even death, for his friends, opponents, and innocent bystanders.
My only criticism of the book is that it was too short. I felt there was so much more about this man that I would like to know. But, to be honest, no matter much additional material Mr. Turner had included in this biography, I'm not sure I am capable of fully comprehending Brother Brigham, a man for whom the phrase "larger than life" is truly apropos.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Super New Information....up to date Bio of our "Favorite" Mormon---Worth the $!Published 4 months ago by MYRON MN
The book is an incredibly well researched and documented history of Mormonism's second Latter-day Prophet. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Guyzen
I listened to the unabridged audiobook through my public library. Despite the claims by the author in the introduction that he will present new scholarship and information based on... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Francis de Sales
John Turner has written an interesting and readable biography of a controversial figure in American history; controversial because of his religion, which at the time included... Read morePublished 8 months ago by R. W. Levesque
John G. Turner -- the book's author -- provides his reader with an objective and well researched account of Mr. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cafe Miteux
Reading now. This non-mormon author is using accurate and well researched references (all documented in book). Read morePublished 11 months ago by landaker