This book is based on a doctoral dissertation written for the University of Wisconsin. At present, the author is an associate professor of history at the Reorganized Latter Day Saints Church’s Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa.
Professor Robert Flanders has attempted to search deeply and give insight into the temporal life of Joseph Smith and the Mormons in Nauvoo. Joseph Smith is considered not primarily as a religious leader, but as an economist, promoter, architect, politician and man of affairs. Without fully considering the religious forces, the author has attempted to analyze the social, political, military and economic facets concerning the Mormon kingdom. He has done what most secular historians would accuse church historians of doing—that is, of writing church history in a vacuum.