Leonard J. Arrington. New York: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, 1985. Softbound, 6x9" 538 pages.
Brigham Young comes to life in this superlative biography that presents him as a Mormon leader, a business genius, a family man, a political organizer, and a pioneer of the West. Drawing on a vast range of sources, including original documents, personal diaries, and private correspondence, Leonard J. Arrington brings Young to life as a towering yet fully human figure, the remarkable captian of his people and his church for thirty years, who combined piety and the pursuit of power to leave an indelible stamp on Mormon society and the culture of the Western frontier.
From polygamy to the Mountain Meadows Massacre to the attempted preservation of Young's Great Basin Kingdom, we are given a fresh understanding of the controversies that plagued Young in his contentious relations with federal government. Brigham Young draws its subject out of the marginal place in history to which the conventional wisdom has assigned him, and sets him squarely in the American mainstream, a figure of abiding influence in our society to this day.
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