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Paperback Mormon Country Book

ISBN: 0803291256

ISBN13: 9780803291256

Mormon Country

(Part of the American Folkways Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Where others saw only sage, a salt lake, and a great desert, the Mormons saw their "lovely Deseret," a land of lilacs, honeycombs, poplars, and fruit trees. Unwelcome in Illinois and Missouri, they migrated to the dry lands between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada to establish Mormon country, a wasteland made green. Like the land they settled, the Mormons' habits stood in stark contrast to the frenzied recklessness of the American West. Opposed to...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Understanding the Mormons

We spent a summer in Utah. I bought this book to learn about the history of the areas we were visiting. I learned about the plight of the Mormons.

Mormonism in Utah Explained

Prof. Stegner has written an objective and informative book on Mormon ideas and how they are practiced in Utah. Although a non-Mormon, his respect for his subjects has rightfully gained their confidence on many topics. Yet, this is not a "white-wash". Mr. Stegner combined history and contemporary practices to provide a very insightful presentation of this intriguing society.

Easy to read and interesting

This book consists of several essays that address various facets of Mormon history and Mormon culture, especially in the West and in Utah, though many of the things Stegner writes about aren't Mormon at all but just take place in predominantly Mormon areas. The author touches on the interesting Deseret alphabet--a bizarre, phonetic alphabet that Mormon leader Brigham Young tried to get all Mormons to learn--on missing artist-explorer Everett Ruess, on the settlements along the Colorado River, and on the effects Mormon culture had on local Indian tribes. Stegner seems to really like and admire the Mormons, though he was never one himself, and his book is almost always fair, and at times even loving, to them. This is an enjoyable read for anyone interested in these parts of the West, particularly in Utah and the Colorado Plateau. It's also well indexed and can be easily used as a reference. It's one of Stegner's best, for sure.

Neat and electic collection of essays

This book consists of a collection of 28 beautifully-written essays that focus on Mormon life and the wide range of Gentiles who lived in Mormon country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Stegner has made a broad range of topics fascinating: the basics of life in a Mormon community; the avid converts who moved to Utah from Europe and Hawaii; the notorious Mountain Meadows massacre; the bizarre Deseret Alphabet; the story of Short Creek, AZ, where a polygamist community, protected from the law by geography, flourished briefly in the early 20th century; the wild mining towns; Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch; John Wesley Powell's river explorations; a paleontologist who devoted his life to dinosaur hunting in the desert; and the story of Everett Ruess, who mysteriously disappeared in the desert.Stegner, a Gentile, seems to have considerable affection for the Mormons and their accomplishments as well as the ruggedly beautiful landscape of Utah. Although the book was originally published in 1942, it is still fascinating reading for anybody traveling around or living in Mormon country who would like not only a better understanding of the history and culture of the people who managed to tame a desert that most settlers only grudgingly trudged through on their way to greener points much further west, but of the many others attracted to that same desert for fortune-making, exploration, crime, science, and glorious solitude.
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