Quest for Empire

This is a review of reviews, a sort of postmortem.

Not that the book is dead. It is very much alive! But there have been so many reviews of this book since it was published by the Michigan State University Press in 1967 that to now write a review would seem almost like picking the bones of last year’s Thanksgiving turkey. All of the reviewers seem thankful that Klaus Hansen wrote the book and seem to be agreed that its publication constitutes a definite contribution to Mormon Americana.

The book has been reviewed widely across the United States in such prestigious history journals as The Journal of American History (formerly The Mississippi Valley Historical Review); the New York Historical Society Quarterly; Ohio History; Michigan History; Arizona and the West; Journal of the West; Pacific Historical Review; and Dialogue. Its reviewers and their professional qualifications in the field of history are equally impressive.

Davis Bitton, who wrote the review for the New York Historical Society Quarterly, is professor of European history at the University of Utah. Charles C. Cole, Jr., who wrote for Ohio History, is a professor at Lafayette College. John W. Hakola, of the University of Maine, wrote the review for the Journal of American History. Merle W. Wells, archivist and historian of the Idaho Historical Society, contributed the review to Journal of the West while A. R. Mortensen, professor of history at the University of Utah, and formerly editor of the Utah Historical Review, wrote the review for Arizona and the West. The review for the Pacific Historical Review was written by a colleague of Dr. Mortensen on the history faculty of the University of Utah, S. Lyman Tyler, formerly librarian of the J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Library at Brigham Young University. B. Carmon Hardy, of the faculty of California State College at Fullerton, California, contributed to this impressive roll of book reviews of Klaus Hansen’s work through the pages of Michigan History.

The most complete and perhaps the most searching review of Quest for Empire to date to come to the attention of the present reviewer is that of Richard D. Poll, professor of history and associate director of the Honors Program at Brigham Young University, which appeared in the Autumn 1967 issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

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