Brigham Young was a complex man. He inspired thousands of Latter-day Saints to make an arduous trek to the west after Joseph Smith was murdered, but he could also be more rough and course than most contemporary Mormons might realize. Harvard University Press recently published a new biography of the Mormon prophet written by John G. Turner. The book is called Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet. Volume one of the Mormon Studies Review includes an insightful review of the biography by David Howlett, an excellent scholar who is also a member of the Community of Christ.
Turner’s Brigham biography is about to be released in a paperback edition this October (you can pre-order it here, cheaper than hardcover!), so it’s an opportune time to talk with him about the life of this remarkable nineteenth-century pioneer, politician, husband/father, church leader, etc.
It’s Brigham Young on this episode of the Maxwell Institute Podcast.
About John G. Turner
John G. Turner is associate professor of religious studies at George Mason University. His first book Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ: The Renewal of Evangelicalism in Postwar America won Christianity Today’s 2009 prize for best History/Biography. He has also published short pieces on Mormonism in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. He has delivered addresses on the book at Brigham Young University and Utah State University. Turner recently wrote an essay for the forthcoming volume two of the Mormon Studies Review. The essay discusses what it’s like to teach about Mormon subjects in a university setting.
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