Heather's Reviews > Massacre at Mountain Meadows

Massacre at Mountain Meadows by Ronald W. Walker
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Nov 02, 08

bookshelves: mormon-history, history-philosophy-science
Read in November, 2008

Commissioned by the LDS church, this book was surprisingly unsparing in its description of the atrocities at Mountain Meadows (more detailed in its account of the actual murders than Brooks' book). They had lots of information at their disposal, and I'm sure it was overwhelming to sift through all of the obviously biased accounts (mostly left by perpetrators) to come up with a reasonable assessment of what happened. They give details about the victims and others that were not present in Juanita Brooks' books, and they effectively place the event in the context of broader American history.

My only complaint is that while the authors did not give special treatment to the leaders in southern Utah, they did appear to give Brigham Young special treatment. They are clear about the culpability of those directly involved but shy away from making direct links to the doctrines of blood atonement and the dehumanization of "gentiles" that were taught from Brigham Young's pulpit. They also completely fail to mention Young's involvement in the cover up and his failure to discipline the leaders. Their focus is not on the trials and cover up, but they do provide an epilogue in which mention of Brigham Young's reaction to the massacre is glaringly absent.

Overall, I think this is a good book and it represents a big step for the LDS people toward accepting and learning from the unsavory parts of their past.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Kris Rhodes What do you feel is the best unbiased book on this event? Being a descendant of the fanchers, I would like to read about this massacre, but would prefer the most honest account. Thanks


message 2: by Heather (last edited Jun 16, 2012 10:54AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Heather Kris wrote: "What do you feel is the best unbiased book on this event? Being a descendant of the fanchers, I would like to read about this massacre, but would prefer the most honest account. Thanks"


Heather That is a good question, and I am definitely not the best person to answer it. I believe Juanita Brooks "The Mountain Meadows Massacre" was honest but she did not have as much information as is available today. I haven't read much else except bits in other less on-topic histories. Good luck with your search and let me know if you find a history you really like!


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