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The Mormon People: The Making of an American…
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The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Matthew Bowman

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726235,762 (4.08)1
Member:alpacaherder
Title:The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith
Authors:Matthew Bowman
Info:Random House (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:dltr, furloughacq, remainders, nov2014

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The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith by Matthew Bowman (2012)

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Written by a Mormon, this is a very evenhanded overview of Mormon history and culture, as well as a great depiction of the evolution of their beliefs.

A friend of mine strongly considered converting to Mormonism when I was in high school (she later converted as an adult) and I've been curiously fascinated by the faith ever since. I very much enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about Mormon church history and beliefs. ( )
  bribre01 | May 6, 2018 |
I just moved to Utah from New York. I've been a Buddhist for many years and have had very little contact with Mormons... up until now! I figured I'd better get to know my neighbors a bit! This book was perfect. It's a bit on the boring side. It is just a quick march over the facts. An event like the Mountain Meadow Massacre gets maybe a page. But the context has been well set by the history up to that point, so a page lays out the basic facts reasonably well. I feel I could go read a book on that event and not be overly bewildered. The book covers the time from the lives of Joseph Smith's parents up to the early 2000s. ( )
  kukulaj | May 6, 2017 |
Heard of on NPR Weekend. The Author is a Mormon.
Amazon: “From one of the brightest of the new generation of Mormon-studies scholars comes a crisp, engaging account of the religion’s history.”—The Wall Street Journal

With Mormonism on the nation’s radar as never before, religious historian Matthew Bowman has written an essential book that pulls back the curtain on more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church’s origins and explains how the Mormon vision has evolved—and with it the esteem in which Mormons have been held in the eyes of their countrymen. Admired on the one hand as hardworking paragons of family values, Mormons have also been derided as oddballs and persecuted as polygamists, heretics, and zealots. The place of Mormonism in public life continues to generate heated debate, yet the faith has never been more popular. One of the fastest-growing religions in the world, it retains an uneasy sense of its relationship with the main line of American culture.

Mormons will surely play an even greater role in American civic life in the years ahead. The Mormon People comes as a vital addition to the corpus of American religious history—a frank and balanced demystification of a faith that remains a mystery for many.

“Fascinating and fair-minded . . . a sweeping soup-to-nuts primer on Mormonism.”—The Boston Globe

“A cogent, judicious, and important account of a faith that has been an important element in American history but remained surprisingly misunderstood.”—Michael Beschloss

“A thorough, stimulating rendering of the Mormon past and present.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] smart, lucid history.”—Tom Brokaw" ( )
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  clifforddham | Oct 3, 2015 |
A very objective history of a religion that many Americans simply don't know too much about, stereotypes, politicians, and musicals notwithstanding. Filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge.

Crams a good deal into some 200 pages - from the early historical struggles of the church and how it gradually became more integrated into American life. Discusses its controversies (polygamy, early territorial clashes) as well as its similarities to 'main-stream' Protestant Christianity - ethics, family life, missionary work, etc.

Also has a very nice bibliography, from which I will gleefully steal further suggestions. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
The history of the church from the beginning until today gives the reader a solid footing in understanding the church. Fairly easy to read for the lay reader, I found I understood the people and the faith better. Recommended for those wanting to develop a better understanding.
  oldbookswine | Sep 22, 2012 |
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Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On a Monday morning in November 1835 a slendar man in his middle forties, curiously dressed in a sea-green coat and pants and sporting a curling grey beard, picked his way into the muddy frontier town of Kirtland, Ohio, twenty miles northeast of Cleveland along the Chagrin River.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679644903, Hardcover)

With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of the nation.
 
In 1830, a young seer and sometime treasure hunter named Joseph Smith began organizing adherents into a new religious community that would come to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and known informally as the Mormons). One of the nascent faith’s early initiates was a twenty-three-year-old Ohio farmer named Parley Pratt, the distant grandfather of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In The Mormon People, religious historian Matthew Bowman peels back the curtain on more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church’s origin and development, explains how Mormonism came to be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world by the turn of twenty-first-century, and ably sets the scene for a 2012 presidential election that has the potential to mark a major turning point in the way this “all-American” faith is perceived by the wider American public—and internationally.
 
Mormonism started as a radical movement, with a profoundly transformative vision of American society that was rooted in a form of Christian socialism. Over the ensuing centuries, Bowman demonstrates, that vision has evolved—and with it the esteem in which Mormons have been held in the eyes of their countrymen. Admired on the one hand as hardworking paragons of family values, Mormons have also been derided as oddballs and persecuted as polygamists, heretics, and zealots clad in “magic underwear.” Even today, the place of Mormonism in public life continues to generate heated debate on both sides of the political divide. Polls show widespread unease at the prospect of a Mormon president. Yet the faith has never been more popular. Today there are about 14 million Mormons in the world, fewer than half of whom live inside the United States. It is a church with a powerful sense of its own identity and an uneasy sense of its relationship with the main line of American culture.
 
Mormons will surely play an even greater role in American civic life in the years ahead. In such a time, The Mormon People comes as a vital addition to the corpus of American religious history—a frank and fair-minded demystification of a faith that remains a mystery for many.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of the nation. In 1830, a young seer named Joseph Smith began organizing adherents into a new religious community that would come to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known informally as the Mormons). Here, religious historian Matthew Bowman presents more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church's origin and development, explains how Mormonism came to be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world by the turn of the 21st century, and sets the scene for a 2012 presidential election that has the potential to mark a major turning point in the way this faith is perceived by the wider American public--and internationally.--From publisher description.… (more)

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» see all 2 descriptions

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