Villages on Wheels: A Social History of the Gathering to Zion | BYU Studies

Villages on Wheels: A Social History of the Gathering to Zion

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Villages on Wheels: A Social History of the Gathering to Zion
Author Stanley B. Kimball Author Violet T. Kimball
Salt Lake City, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2011

Villages on Wheels: A Social History of the Gathering to Zion

Reviewer Haleigh Cole

With all that has been said and written of the pioneer heroes of early Mormondom, Villages on Wheels beats down the partition of dates and facts to channel the voices of those who were "called to pass through it." Uniquely organized to attract both the scholar and lay reader, Villages on Wheels presents the unadulterated history of the pioneers through hundreds of diaries, journal entries, and poems written by those who blazed the trail. Unlike other works on the exodus, Villages is a social history—a history of the common man told by the common man—independent of the political and economic approach that is more commonly discussed in academia. This characteristic makes the book accessible, educating and entertaining readers of all interest levels and disciplines.

Featuring thousands of firsthand records never before compiled, Villages reaches beyond the Sunday School stories, strips away the romanticism, and sinks the reader deep into the day-today experiences of the Saints. With copious references to these personal accounts, the Kimballs step back and allow the Saints to tell their own tales of suffering, love, humor, tragedy, and joy. Villages on Wheels is a riveting compilation for any reader looking to discover this monumental and defining experience in Mormon history through the accounts of the common people who lived it.

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