You might be interested to hear Martin Tanner’s interview with Curt Bench this Sunday, April 13, at 6:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., and 9:30 p.m. (take your pick) on KSL Radio, 1160 AM & 102.7 FM (you can also access it at KSL.com). Martin’s excellent weekly program, “Religion Today,” has been broadcast for 25 years now. He and Curt discuss Benchmark Books, their history, and how they do what they do best: buy, find, and sell LDS books, in-print, out-of-print, used, and rare.
- Saints Observed: Studies of Mormon Village Life, 1850-2005 by Howard Bahr. University of Utah. Hardback. $37.95. The most complete overview and assessment of Mormon village studies available, this volume extends the canon twofold. First, it presents a rich composite view of nineteenth-century Mormon life in the West as seen by qualified observers who did not just pass through but stopped and studied. Second, it connects that early protoethnography to scholarly Mormon village studies in the twentieth century, showing their proper context in the thriving field of community studies. Based mostly on nine famous travelers’ accounts of life among the Mormons, including Richard Burton, Elizabeth Kane, Howard Stansbury, John Gunnison, and Julius Benchley—Bahr’s volume introduces these talented observers, summarizes and analyzes their observation, and constructs a holistic overview of Mormon village life. He concludes by tracing the rise and continuity of Mormon village studies in the twentieth century, beginning with Lowry Nelson’s 1923 research in Escalante, Utah.
- Four Classic Mormon Village Studies by Howard Bahr with contributions from Edward C. Banfield, Henri Mendras, Thomas F. O’Dea and Wilfrid C. Bailey. University of Utah. Hardback. $40.00. Saints Observed: Studies of Mormon Village Life, 1850–2005 serves as a comprehensive introduction to this second volume, which makes available four of the best Mormon village studies, all previously unpublished. These postwar village studies differ substantially from earlier village studies initiated by Nelson’s work and offer in-depth investigations by observers who lived and participated in village life. Together, they capture in rich detail the dayto- day life of mid-century Mormon villagers. Editor Howard Bahr’s afterword highlights changes in the four villages across the past half-century, drawing upon recent site visits, interviews, and texts.
- Called to Teach: The Legacy of Karl G. Maeser by A. LeGrand Richards. RSC/Deseret Book. Hardback. $32.99. Karl G. Maeser has rightfully been called the spiritual architect not only of Brigham Young University but also of the Church Educational System. As the first superintendent of Church Education, he helped develop and maintain over fifty academies and schools from Canada to Mexico. He helped develop the public education system in Utah and helped establish the Utah Teachers Association. The students he taught personally included future United States senators and members of the House of Representatives, a United States Supreme Court justice, university presidents, and many General Authorities. He translated twenty-nine hymns and about a third of the Doctrine and Covenants into German and founded Der Stern, the Church’s German magazine, now called the Liahona. Based on extensive research, Called to Teach describes the life of this remarkable man and explores the impact of his legacy.
- Women of Faith in the Latter Days, Volume Three: 1846-1870 by Richard Turley and Brittany Chapman. Deseret Book. Hardback. $29.99. This volume, the third in a series of seven, represents women born between 1846 and 1870. They lived in a rapidly changing world, and many experienced the expansion of opportunities for women, including the advent of mass communication and increased travel. In this volume, you will meet both leading and little known women, including general Relief Society presidents Clarissa S. Williams and Louise Y. Robison, as well as the wife of a Maori chief who migrated to Utah, a suffragist of national prominence who helped secure women’s rights, a polygamous wife who supported her family as a pioneering photographer, and a southern Utah housewife who became he first mayor of an all-woman town council. The faith and determination exhibited in each woman’s story, no matter how humble, offer inspiration and strength as we endeavor to live our own lives of faith today.