Kent's Reviews > Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows
by Will Bagley
by Will Bagley
Having long ago read Juanita Brooks' The Mountain Meadows Massacre and the more recent Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Ron Walker et al (which actually followed Blood of the Prophets in publishing sequence), it didn't seem to me that there was anything revelatory, as suggested by one professional reviewer, about Bagley's take on this most heinous and gruesome episode. The only real addition was Bagley's decidedly accusatory attitude toward Brigham Young and George A. Smith, which seems to have been his main objective in writing yet another thoroughly researched account. Whether reading Brooks, Bagley or Walker, one gains the sense that the atmosphere in 1857 Utah was set for a terrible outcome for a train of California-bound pioneers who found themselves caught in a bad place at the wrong time. Like the other historians, Bagley reviews the story in detail with the intent to place blame on multiple players and to shift the historical blame from the wrong targets (mostly Paiute Native Americans) to those whom he sees as the real culprits, the LDS Church's leadership. Strident hearsay and opinion seem to overcome real evidence for his strongest accusations, but he does provide evidence, although not new, that shores up Brooks' previous cautious suggestion that LDS Church leaders at the top were culpable, especially in the 20-years-long cover up of the crime. This was an informative account, but I found the other two more appealing for their lack of obvious vindictiveness.
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