Religion, Politics, and Sugar: The Mormon Church, the Federal Government, and the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, 1907-1921

In our era, when justifiable attention is paid to economic and environmental developments in the Mountain West, Matthew C. Godfrey has written a book based on his PhD dissertation for the Department of History at Washington State University that offers close analysis of controversial church-state-industry struggles in the beet sugar industry in Utah and Idaho between 1890 and 1920.

Having read Utah-Idaho Sugar Company (U-I SC) minutes, government documents, and personal journals, Godfrey presents the beginnings of this remarkable industry. He identifies the stances of leading characters within the company. He re-creates efforts to finance growth, including some questionable dealings. He traces restraint of trade charges against the company and presents Charles W. Nibley’s defenses. He describes Senator Reed Smoot’s pressures and the involvement of other leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Overall Godfrey’s study is a business whodunit, offering a disturbing view of a generally well-thought-of enterprise in the Mormon cultural region.

Purchase this Issue