Hugh Winder Nibley is known for the diversity of his writings and activities, which compare more easily to the impressionistic music of Debussy than to the works of an orderly Beethoven or to an inexhaustible smorgasbord of culinary delights than to a formal seven-course banquet. His life calls for an equally diverse and interesting biography, which is provided by his son-in-law, Boyd Jay Petersen. Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life began as a birthday present for the author's daughter, Mary, born in 1989. As Nibley approached his eightieth birthday, Petersen wanted to preserve Nibley's legacy for Mary, since he feared that "with time's winged chariot hurrying near, there may not be a chance for her to really get to know her grandfather."
Once he tapped into the mother lode of Nibley's correspondence, however, he realized that the project had a much larger audience than just his family. The result of fourteen years of research and writing is a valuable family history of which we are all beneficiaries. Boyd Petersen has more than fulfilled his wish "to preserve the truth that lurks below these stories and to preserve the status of this hero in our culture."