Launius, Roger D. - Joseph Smith III: Pragmatic Prophet

I read this book right after reading the book on Emma Hale Smith. I didn't go into it thinking it would be very interesting, but it turned out to be quite fascinating, and I'm glad I read it. Until reading it, I had no idea what the RLDS church was about or how it came into being. Perhaps the most interesting portion of the book is the portion dealing with polygamy. Some of the detailed information that now exists regarding early Mormon polygamy is in large part a credit to Joseph Smith's son trying to clear his father's name from ever starting the practice--something they weren't able to honestly achieve.

Winner of the Evans Biography Award and the John Whitmer Association Best Book Award

"One of the best biographies yet written about any Latter Day Saint leader in either the Reorganized church or Utah Mormon church. . . . 'Must' reading for all students of Mormon history." -- Newell Bringhurst, Sunstone

"An important appraisal of the man who guided the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for more than a half century. . . . Well written and well researched." -- Library Journal

"Thoroughly researched, well documented, and eminently readable. . . . Offers intriguing interpretations of the Mormon movement." -- Richard C. Goode, Religious Studies Review

"This book should be read by every serious scholar of Mormonism and of American religious history--and by persons who love a good story well told." -- Paul M. Edwards, Western Illinois Regional Studies


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