Joseph Smith and the Restoration, by Ivan J. Barrett, was written as a text for undergraduate students taking LDS Church history classes at Brigham Young University. Any student who carefully reads this text will gain dramatic insights into the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith and into the Church and kingdom of God during his lifetime. Professor Barrett has literally filled his Chapters with colorful stories and historical tidbits which make his Church history come alive. This text is not a dry or boring history; it is one of the finest texts of its kind to be written in the Church. Its author is to be commended for the years of historical investigation incorporated into the pages of his work.
The quality of his historical research is commendable, having relatively few errors and most of those quite minor. That our genealogy on the paternal side of Joseph Smith goes back before Robert Smith now (p. 15); that Samuel Smith II married two different Priscilla Goulds (p. 16); that it is not definitely known that the Prophet Joseph composed or even gave the so-called Lectures on Faith (p. 151); that the Missouri militia and mob forces totaled in excess of 30,000 (p. 346); that Orson Pratt's work, Remarkable Visions, was originally published in Scotland in 1840 and the first printing in America in 1841 (pp. 31, 36); and the Beardman should be Boardman (p. 306), etc., are all minor items relating to Barrett's historical research.
Perhaps more serious matters relating to the quality of his research would be: (I) The handling of quotations, (II) the conspicuous lack of credit given to some of the finest sources and works available to date on many of the subjects treated, and (III) the basic philosophy to the study of LDS Church history—the writer's point of view and objectives.