This daily feature is an introduction to a full book review by Gary L. Hatch. To read the full text of this review, follow the link below.
Edward L. and Andrew Kimball's 1977 biography, Spencer W. Kimball, is a candid and intimate portrait of the life of the twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That book, which went up through President Kimball's first year as president, set the standard at the time for Latter-day Saint biography. Other biographies written by the sons of Church Presidents preceded this one, perhaps most prominent among these is the biography of Joseph F. Smith by his son Joseph Fielding Smith. Edward and Andrew Kimball likewise had a close personal connection to their subject, but Spencer W. Kimball was different in that they approached their prophetic father with an unusual candor and openness combined with a meticulous attention to detail and a desire to get the story right. Several biographies that followed Spencer W. Kimball would take a candid approach to representing Church Presidents, among these is Leonard J. Arrington's Brigham Young: American Moses and most recently Richard L. Bushman's Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. The same basic spirit of openness, together with the added benefit of personal familiarity, characterizes Edward L. Kimball's new biography Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball.