Video from the event with Philip Barlow (Mormons and the Bible) is now under our Events tab above (http://www.benchmarkbooks.com/events/) along with past events. If you didn’t pick up a signed copy, we still have a few.
Here are some new titles that have arrived in the last couple weeks (to order, please e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-486-3112/801-486-3111):
edited by Kent F. Richards. Deseret Book, 2013. 404 pp. Hardback. $37.99. Since the early days of the Restoration, the Richards family has played a prominent role in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In fact, between 1840 and 1950, there was only a short time, 1899 to 1906, when there was not at least one Richards serving as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Arranged chronologically, excerpts from the journals of these three faithful men—Willard, Franklin D., and George F. Richards—offer us a privileged view of their day-to-day lives. We see their service in the Church, marriage and family concerns, and opportunities for growth as each worked to build up the kingdom of God on the earth. Of particular interest are the excerpts from George F. Richards’ journals—they are under restricted access and the editor had to submit his compilation to the First Presidency for approval.
by Denver C. Snuffer. CreateSpace, 2013. Paperback. $17.99/ea. Remembering the Covenant reproduces the contents of popular author Denver Snuffer’s blog (slightly revised and reorganized) into book form. These numerous posts cover a host of topics—volumes 2 and 3 contain the series of posts on the Book of Mormon previously published as Removing the Condemnation.
by Earl Wunderli. Signature Books, 2013. 396 pp. Paperback. $32.95. Fascinating reading due to how Wunderli has structured the book as his own personal quest for answers, An Imperfect Book is an accessible but thorough overview of major controversies involving authorship, use of idiom, anachronisms, contrived names, borrowed passages, and prophecies made and fulfilled within the book’s own narrative frame. Wunderli includes a discussion of dozens of curiosities such as the relative absence of polygamists in a culture where one would expect it and sons named after their fathers (Alma junior), which one would not expect among ancient Israelites. Wunderli has examined the arguments and reduced the data to a collection of informative observations and reasoned arguments in an altogether readable work.
by Craig Livingston. Greg Kofford, 2013. 428 pp. Paperback. $34.95. In From Above and Below, author Craig Livingston tells the story of Mormon commentary on global revolutions from the European revolutions of 1848 to the collapse of Mormon faith in progress in the 1930s when revolutionary communist and fascist regimes exposed themselves as violent and repressive. As the Church bureaucratized and assimilated to mainstream American and capitalist values, Mormons became champions of the conservative view of political and social development for which they are known today. The first Mormon converts in Mexico and France, both political radicals, would scarcely recognize the arch-conservative twenty-first century Church.
ed. by John Quist and Michael Birkner. University Press of Florida, 2013. 272 pp. Hardback. $69.99. In 1856, the violence that swept “Bleeding Kansas” and the brutal beating of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate reflected the anger and mistrust of a people divided over slavery. Whispers of disunion now became audible. In the midst of this rising crisis, Americans chose James Buchanan to provide the leadership that might calm sectional tensions and prevent the shattering of the nation. In the opinion of many scholars, Buchanan failed to meet the challenge, and his presidency ended in secession and ultimately civil war. John W. Quist and Michael J. Birkner have assembled a collection of essays by leading historians who reexamine and challenge that conventional wisdom. Well-respected Utah War historian William MacKinnon contributed a chapter examining the Utah conflict as a prelude to the Civil War.
by Reed Haslam. H-Town Publishing, 2012. 796 pp. Paperback–$20.95/Hardback–$29.95. The Light Breaks on Southeast Asia is “The Work and the Story” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Indochina: Viet Nam, Thailand, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos. The work of Elders Levi Savage Jr. and Elam Luddington in Burma and Siam in the 1850s, the war in Viet Nam that drew the church back to Southeast Asia, the story of Srilaksana Suntarahut, the translator of the Thai Book of Mormon, the baptisms at the Burmese Waters of Mormon, the rapid growth of the Church in Cambodia, and the success of many humanitarian service missionaries throughout this region, where that program had its beginnings in 1980. It is about the stories of the events that shape the history of the LDS Church in Indochina. While there are historical facts and figures to be found here, the emphasis is on the people and the stories that form the fascinating history of this area.
by Josh Hanagarne. Gotham, 2013. 288 pp. Hardback. $26.00. Josh Hanagarne couldn’t be invisible if he tried. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6’7” when—while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints—his Tourette’s tics escalated to nightmarish levels. Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in Library Science. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman—and former Air Force Tech Sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison—taught Josh how to “throttle” his tics into submission through strength-training. Today, Josh is a librarian in the main branch of Salt Lake City’s public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting.
by Matthew Kester. Oxford University Press, 2013. 203 pp. Hardback. $49.95. Remembering Iosepa connects the story of this unique community of Hawaiian settlers in Utah with the earliest Native Hawaiian migrants to western North America and the vibrant and growing community of Pacific Islanders in the Great Basin today. It traces the origins and growth of the community in the tumultuous years of colonial expansion into the Hawaiian islands, as well as its relationship to white Mormons, the church leadership, and the Hawaiian government. In the broadest sense, Mathew Kester seeks to explain the meeting of Mormons and Hawaiians in the American West and to examine the creative adaptations and misunderstandings that grew out of that encounter.
by LeGrand Baker. Eborn, 2012. 172 pp. Paperback. $14.95. From a review posted on the Association for Mormon Letters forum: “LeGrand Baker’s The Book of Mormon as an Ancient Israelite Temple builds upon his previous book, Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord? He discussed the temple subtext in the earlier book but here seeks to examine the function of the Book of Mormon as a temple text. With a simple but effective methodology, clear prose, and solid research he largely achieves his objective. The book contains 19 sections which correspond to each of John Lundquist’s “The Common Temple Ideology of the Ancient Near East” found in Temples in Antiquity edited by Truman Madsen.”
by James Faulconer. Salt Press, 2013. 285 pp. Paperback. $12.95. From the author: “This is a book of questions. Just questions, no answers, though occasionally I will throw in some answer-like material to help make the question easier to understand. It is a book of questions because in my experience-in both personal scripture study and in teaching Sunday School and other lessons-questions are of more help for reflective, deep study. We learn new things when we respond to new questions, and the person who says “I no longer get anything out of my scripture study” no longer runs up against questions to think about as he or she reads. This book is intended to make reading harder-and therefore fresher-by giving such readers questions for study.”
ed. by Allan Kent Powell. University of Utah, 2013. 308 pp. Hardback. $34.95. Nels Anderson’s World War I Diary provides a rare glimpse into the wartime experiences of one of the most well-respected sociologists of the twentieth century, the renowned author of The Hobo (1920) and Desert Saints: The Mormon Frontier in Utah (1942). Anderson, a keen observer of people, places, and events his entire life, joined the U.S. Army in 1918 at the age of 29 and was sent to Europe to fight as part of the Allied Expeditionary Force under General Pershing. Because keeping a journal was strongly discouraged among American forces during WWI, particularly among the rank-and-file soldiers, Anderson’s diary stands as a rare gem. Furthermore, it is the only known account of war service during WWI by a member of the LDS Church. Anderson joined the Mormon faith after accepting the hospitality of an extended Mormon ranching family during his travels throughout the American West as a working hobo.
by Ryan McIlvain. Hogarth, 2013. 293 pp. Hardback. $26.00. Elder McLeod—outspoken, surly, a brash American—is nearing the end of his mission in Brazil. For nearly two years he has spent his days studying the Bible and the Book of Mormon, knocking on doors, teaching missionary lessons—“experimenting on the word.” His new partner is Elder Passos, a devout, ambitious Brazilian who found salvation and solace in the church after his mother’s early death. The two men are at first suspicious of each other, and their work together is frustrating, fruitless. That changes when a beautiful woman and her husband offer the missionaries a chance to be heard, to put all of their practice to good use, to test the mettle of their faith. But before they can bring the couple to baptism, they must confront their own long-held beliefs and doubts, and the simmering tensions at the heart of their friendship. A novel of unsparing honesty and beauty, Elders announces Ryan McIlvain as a writer of enormous talent.
by Matthew Deane. NP, 2013. 310 pp. Paperback. First effort West of Independence is the memoirs of two brothers, one gay, one much like his father. The narrative tells of a suicide attempt and struggles to overcome self-righteousness in an effort to find a harmonious relationship between the siblings.
comp. by Calvin R. Stephens. 341 pp. Paperback. $14.99. The first in a new series of classic material from beloved writers, A Beginner’s Guide to Talmage brings together the best quotations and hand-selected excerpts from Jesus the Christ, Articles of Faith, The House of the Lord, The Great Apostasy, The Parables of James E. Talmage, The Story and Philosophy of “Mormonism,” The Vitality of Mormonism, and Elder Talmage’s general conference addresses. A brief introduction offers insight about his life and the influence of his teachings.
The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon by William M. Adler. Hardback. Reg. $30.00, SALE $7.99.
We recently went to the annual Mormon History Association conference–we were happy to see some of our favorite books receive awards. Here is the list–click on any title for more details and price:
Best Family and Community History Award
• Stephen G. Schwendiman, The Mendon Saints: Their Lives and Legacy, Vol. 2 (Salt Lake City: Eborn Books, 2012). Hardback.
Best International Book Award
• Marjorie Newton, Tiki and Temple: The Mormon Mission in New Zealand, 1854-1958 (Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2012). Paperback. $29.95.
Best First Book Award
• J. Spencer Fluhman, A Peculiar People: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012). Hardback. $34.95.
Best Documentary History /Bibliography Award
• The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories Vol. 1, 1832-1844, eds. Karen Lynn Davidson, David J. Whittaker, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Richard L. Jensen. The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories, Volume 1. Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2012.
• The Joseph Smith Papers, Histories Vol. 2, Assigned Histories, 1831-1847, edited by Karen Lynn Davidson, Richard L. Jenson, and David J. Whittaker. Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press, 2012.
Best Biography Award
• John G. Turner, Brigham Young, Pioneer Prophet. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.
Best Book Award
• Brandon Plewe, S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson, eds., Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-Day Saint History. Provo, Utah: BYU Press, 2012.
Additionally, we have some titles from presenters at this year’s conference (all at 25% off!):
American Religious Liberalism ed. by Leigh E. Schmidt and Sally M. Promey. Indiana University Press, 2012. 416 pp. Paperback. Reg. $30.00, SALE $22.99.
Go East, Young Man: Imagining the American West as the Orient by Richard V. Francaviglia. Utah State University Press, 2011. 350 pp. Reg. $36.95, SALE $27.99.
Mapping and Imagination in the Great Basin: A Cartographic History by Richard V. Francaviglia. University of Nevada Press, 2005. 231 pp. Paperback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $18.99.
Believing in Place: A Spiritual Geography of the Great Basin by Richard V. Francaviglia. University of Nevada Press, 2003. 289 pp. Hardback. Reg. $24.95, SALE $18.99.