So says the review on the blog, By Common Consent, of MSH member Samuel Brown’s new book, In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death (Oxford University Press, 2011). Those who care about Mormonism cannot pass up something that “fills a lacuna in Mormon historiography that utterly shifts the ground, presenting in the process something very close to a Grand Unified Theory of Smithian Mormonism.” Sam, we already knew you were amazing. The secret’s out. Love your site, too.
MSH member Matthew Bowman recently published The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith with Random House. The New York Times review calls it “timely” and says — all too glibly —that it is “sober history, so sober it misses opportunities to be playful and pointed at once.” The reviewer wanted discussion of the Osmonds, “Big Love,” and John Krakauer. Thank you, Matt, for not pandering to the tastes of dilettantes.
Mormon Times has published two stories, one by Emily W. Jensen, the other by Kristine Frederickson, on Richard Bushman’s remarks at a recent symposium held in his honor. According to the stories, Brother Bushman says that we are now in a golden age of Mormon historical scholarship and that we are moving towards an age of Mormon cultural power.
Mormon Scholars in the Humanities will hold its next conference May 18–19, 2012, at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista, Virginia. Located in the historic Shenandoah Valley, Southern Virginia last hosted the MSH conference to great acclaim in May 2008. Sessions will be held in the Ballroom and Stonemetz Conference Room of Main Hall (pictured left). Accommodations will be provided for the nights of May 17–20 in the Lofts, a new campus residence hall. They may also be arranged at one of several local hotels. Those driving may find directions here. Those flying are encouraged to use the Roanoke Regional Airport, which is 50 miles south of Buena Vista. The call for papers, conference registration form and presentation proposal form are on-line at mormonscholars.net.
Members will want to read Richard Cracroft’s complimentary review of our own George Handley’s new book Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River Cracroft says, “Tracking the Provo River from its Uinta headwaters through Provo to Utah Lake, Handley follows Walden’s seasonal organization as he seeks links between the ugly, cement-and-wire attack on nature and the natural and spiritual renewal afforded by the primeval wilderness… You’ll enjoy this masterful book, which is destined to become a classic in Latter-day Saint studies.” Congrats, George!