In any collection of essays, many readers will undoubtedly find some more useful than others. In determining the usefulness of most essays, I generally ask myself what new interpretive insights they offer ordinarily. I am less interested in essays that review or add detail to well-known topics or interpretations than in those that offer new insights, especially new interpretive insights. Moreover, I find particularly useful those that provide a corrective to the conventional wisdom.
Using that criteria, I found four essays in this collection most worthwhile: Jill Mulvay Derr’s “Brigham Young and the Awakening of Mormon Women in the 1870s,” William G. Hartley’s “Brigham Young and Priesthood Work at the General and Local Levels,” David J. Whittaker’s “Brigham Young and the Missionary Enterprise” and Gail Geo. Holmes’s “A Prophet Who Followed, Fulfilled, and Magnified: Brigham Young in Iowa and Nebraska.”