Mormons in the Piazza: History of the Latter-day Saints in ItalyProvo, Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah
: Religious Studies Center; Deseret Book
Mormons in the Piazza: History of the Latter-day Saints in Italy
Every so often, the publication of a book functions as a milestone in a particular area of study. The book is recognized either as the first, most comprehensive, or most distinctive treatment of a subject, with which all later researchers will need to familiarize themselves in order to be considered credible. When it comes to the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Italy, Mormons in the Piazza is such a book, and for all three of these reasons. James Toronto, BYU professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies; Eric Dursteler, BYU professor of history and chair of the same department; and Michael Homer, attorney, independent historian, and honorary Italian Consul in Salt Lake City, have produced a volume that is rigorously researched, beautifully written, and nicely illustrated. It is certainly a first in its area, since no comparable publication of this size is available in the English language. It is also the most comprehensive treatment on the presence of the LDS Church in Italy, ranging from the day the first missionary set foot on Italian soil to the recent announcement of the Rome temple’s construction. Finally, it is distinctive in being both broadly accessible and academically solid, a combination that is difficult for any writer to achieve. It brings engaging historical narrative, cultural contextualization, and firsthand observation and analysis into one coherent picture that captures the reader’s interest at both affective and intellectual levels.