Those who enjoyed Richard Bushman’s Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling will be just as pleased with Believing History, a collection of Richard Bushman’s essays on Mormon history and his personal beliefs. The essays in Believing History are not necessarily related, but by reading them together one captures the flavor of both the author’s scholarship and his person. The essays span a period of thirty-two years, beginning in 1969 and ending in 2001. They have all been published previously in books and journals, including some in BYU Studies.
The value of Believing History is that it brings all of the essays—and thus, much of Bushman’s thought—into one place. The book also contains a new afterword by Bushman where, like the first two essays of the book, he identifies himself as a “dialogic historian” who is “fighting on both fronts” of critical scholarship and uncritical belief within Mormon studies. In writing to both skeptics and believers, Bushman shows his desire to not alienate readers from either audience.