Brigham Young, by John G. Turner
Brigham Young, unlike Joseph Smith, played no role in the translation of the Book of Mormon. He never ran for president of the United States, as Smith did in 1844. And Young was not dramatically martyred, as Smith was when a mob shot him in his prison cell. But without Young, we might not remember Smith. Without Young, Mitt Romney’s Mormonism might not exist to be an issue for some voters in the current presidential election.
Although best known today for the university that bears his name, this rough-and-tumble 19th-century man was one of the most pivotal figures of his century. As the primary leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after Smith’s assassination in 1844, Young saw thousands of followers across the frontier, helped establish the Mormon community in Utah and throughout the West and challenged the federal government at just about every level. Now, thanks to historian John Turner, we have a comprehensive biography of Young and his times.
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