This attractive volume is one of many Utah statehood centennial efforts by publishers and authors. The Johnsons have a unique approach that actually determines the structure of the book. Utilizing a technique of interspersing historical essays, a few individual profiles, and some current Utah businesses’ histories, the publication attempts to tie past to present. Although, there is an emphasis on the contemporary Utah scene, which genuinely hampers the historical integrity of the book, the purpose of the book is to demonstrate Utah’s economic vitality in 1996.
Inclusion of corporate stories is apparently based on each business’s opportunity or willingness to contribute to the book’s publication. Consequently, the volume is, in some respects, paid advertising for those who are included. For whatever reason, several important Utah businesses such as Huntsman Chemical, Nu-Skin International, Geneva Steel, and Pacificorps are given little mention, limiting the statewide coverage of this publication.
The book is a welcome addition to the centennial feast of Utah books. The color photographs in the historical essays create a worthy framework for the publication. Centennial Utah definitely adds to the knowledge of what Utah is in 1996 and provides useful sketches that call for greater study of Utah’s contemporary business community.