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Elder Statesman: A Biography of J. Reuben Clark Hardcover – April 15, 2002
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From the Publisher
Already controversial before he assumed his church duties, his blunt, independent style created even more ripples at LDS headquarters. Still, his impact, intellectually and administratively, was immense. His most important legacy was the professionalization of church government. Where apostles and presidents previously met and decided issues based mostly on their collective years of experience, Clark drew from his secular training to introduce outside research, position papers, and extended discussion, all of which (for better or worse) added to the churchs bureaucracy.
"Reube," or "Ruby," as he was known, was born in Grantsville, Utah, in 1871. By eighteen, having exhausted what opportunities there were for him there, he moved to Salt Lake City and began his academic career. He graduated from the University of Utah as his classs valedictorian, and his intellectual gifts carried him from there through Columbia Law School and on to the State Department.
In this impressive study of the "elder statesman," as reporters often labeled him, D. Michael Quinn considers what it meant for a Latter-day Saint to attain such national and international stature, while never losing sight of Reubens very human qualities either. This fresh, intimate approach presents Reuben on his own terms, drawing readers into Reubens world in the context of the larger society of his time and place.
About the Author
His major works include Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, Elder Statesman: A Biography of J. Reuben Clark, the two-volume Mormon Hierarchy series (Origins of Power, Extensions of Power), and Same-Sex Dynamics among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example. He is the editor of The New Mormon History: Revisionist Essays on the Past and a contributor to American National Biography;Encyclopedia of New York State; Fundamentalisms and Society: Reclaiming the Sciences, the Family, and Education; the New Encyclopedia of the American West; Under an Open Sky: Rethinking America’s Western Past; and others.
He has also received honors—fellowships and grants—from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Henry E. Huntington Library, Indiana-Purdue University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition, he has been a keynote speaker at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, the Chicago Humanities Symposium, Claremont Graduate University, University of Paris (France), Washington State Historical Society, and elsewhere, and a consultant for television documentaries carried by the Arts and Entertainment Channel, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the History Channel, and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
Top Customer Reviews
"Elder Statesman" is the biography of a famous LDS church leader, J. Reuben Clark. Clark had a fascinating career. He began life in small town in Utah in the nineteenth century. His intellectual talents carried him to the University of Utah, Columbia University Law School, the United States Department of State and finally to a position as United States Ambassador to Mexico. Clark obviously had immense intellectual and mental gifts to get where he did in life.
At this point, Clark was called to serve as Second Counselor to LDS Church President Heber J. Grant. During the next 29 years, Grant served as both second and first counselor in the administrations of Heber J. Grant, George Albert Smith, and finally, David O. McKay. He brought to these positions tremendous administrative talents. This era was an extremely important time for the church. The groundwork was laid for the tremendous expansion of the Church that occurred and is still occurring.
Quinn points out failings in Clark as a person. By present day standards he was extremely racist, even demanding that Utah hospitals segregate the blood of African Americans from others. Clark was also hostile to Jews and opposed the entry of the USA into the Second World War.Read more ›
Because other people will no doubt mention it, Clark, like most men of his generation and background, was a racist and anti-semite. Quinn does not leave it at that though--we learn to understand where such attitudes arose from and admire the moral and intellectual stature of a man who could begin to overcome such deeply-ensconced prejudices.
If you are a serious student of Mormon history, you MUST read this book. If not, read it anyways.