A Peculiar People: Anti–Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth–Century AmericaChapel Hill, North Carolina
: The University of North Carolina Press
"A Peculiar People": Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America
Latter-day Saints were often surprised or astonished at the amount of anti-Mormon rhetoric and sentiment that seemed to come out of the woodwork during the Romney candidacies. While to a varying degree there has always been an obvious anti-Mormon backdrop, it is an awakening to realize the strong, latent undercurrent that surfaces at times. J. Spencer Fluhman's book on anti-Mormonism in the nineteenth century is a helpful contribution to an understanding of the origins, sources, trends, and implications of such religious aversion. Fluhman is a professor of history at Brigham Young University and editor of the Mormon Studies Review. The study is a revised and augmented version of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His wide-ranging research here is a tour de force, often consulting obscure or neglected sources and providing a very useful bibliography. As discussed by Fluhman, the well-selected sources are interesting and instructive. The work presents an insightful overview that not only offers new information and evaluation but also puts in better perspective previous specialized studies of early anti-Mormonism. For this study, the Mormon History Association awarded Fluhman its Best First Book award in 2013.