Here's something you don't see every day: a sympathetic look at the history of Mormonism, drawing heavily from recent scholarship by contributors and friends of the blog, in the New Yorker. There's a bit of a weak connection with Mitt Romney's campaign at the end, and other issues that could be raised with this or that passage in the article, but I'm less interested in picking nits than highlighting Adam Gopnik's praise of and reliance on Matt Bowman's The Mormon People, John Turner's Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet, Joanna Brooks's Book of Mormon Girl, and J. Spencer Fluhman's A Peculiar People. Did I mention we have covered each of these works extensively on the blog previously? (He also mentions Paul Gutjahr's The Book of Mormon: A Biography, which we've mentioned briefly here before).
Matthew Bowman’s “The Mormon People” (Random House) offers a comprehensive, neatly written synopsis of the whole history of the Latter-day Saints movement; Paul C. Gutjahr’s “The Book of Mormon: A Biography” (Princeton) traces the origins and afterlife of Latter-day Saints scripture; J. Spencer Fluhman’s “A Peculiar People: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth Century America” (North Carolina) shows how much Mormon-hating helped shape standard American Protestantism; and John G. Turner’s “Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet” (Harvard) is a definitive biography of Mormonism’s greatest activist and apostle.
The rest of the article is an interesting read; glad to see these authors get appropriately prominent play in an unexpected place.