Kingdom of Nauvoo
Compared to the Puritans, Mormons have rarely gotten their due, often treated as fringe cultists or marginalized polygamists unworthy of serious examination. In Kingdom of Nauvoo, Benjamin E. Park excavates the brief, tragic life of a lost Mormon city, demonstrating that the Mormons are essential to understanding American history writ large. Using newly accessible sources, Park recreates the Mormons’ 1839 flight from Missouri to Illinois. There, under the charismatic leadership of Joseph Smith, they founded Nauvoo, which shimmered briefly—but Smith’s challenge to democratic traditions, as well as his new doctrine of polygamy, would bring about its fall. His wife Emma, rarely written about, opposed him, but the greater threat came from without: in 1844, a mob murdered Joseph, precipitating the Mormon trek to Utah. Throughout his absorbing chronicle, Park shows that far from being outsiders, the Mormons were representative of their era in their distrust of democracy and their attempt to forge a sovereign society of their own.

Kingdom of Nauvoo Details

TitleKingdom of Nauvoo
Author
ReleaseFeb 25th, 2020
PublisherLiveright
ISBN-139781631494864
Rating
GenreHistory, Religion, Nonfiction, North American Hi..., American History, Christianity, Lds, Literature, 19th Century

Kingdom of Nauvoo Review

  • TXGAL1
    January 1, 1970
    In 2016, the Church of the Latter-Day Saints released approximately 150 extraordinary new documents from the 1840s. Mr. Park has thoroughly researched these sources to present a well-balanced account of a little-known time in early Mormon history vis-a-vis KINGDOM OF NAUVOO.The majority of this book takes place between 1839-1845. By 1939, the Mormons are again forced, by fearful and critical neighbors, to leave their homes and strike out for a new safe haven. This is especially the case as a In 2016, the Church of the Latter-Day Saints released approximately 150 extraordinary new documents from the 1840’s. Mr. Park has thoroughly researched these sources to present a well-balanced account of a little-known time in early Mormon history vis-a-vis KINGDOM OF NAUVOO.The majority of this book takes place between 1839-1845. By 1939, the Mormons are again forced, by fearful and critical neighbors, to leave their homes and strike out for a new safe haven. This is especially the case as a massacring mob sweeps through their Missouri village, at the behest of Missouri’s governor, and “exterminate”s 17 men, women and children. The Mormons flee across the Mississippi River and eventually congregate in the area of Commerce, Illinois. As the Mormons look to settle again, their prophet, Joseph Smith, purchases 700 acres on the peninsula that includes Commerce—renaming it Nauvoo, a word of Hebrew origin meaning “a beautiful situation”.In Nauvoo, the Mormons work their land, worship God and relish in their newfound religious Paradise. Nauvoo enjoys a regular stream of new members to the area and by 1845 Nauvoo is larger than Chicago. However, religious intolerance of their neighbors both near and across the river in Missouri see the saints establish an impressive militia and their own courts to protect them from the unruly American democracy of which they are at theocratic and philosophic odds.As Nauvoo’s population grows and resulting political activity and influence become apparent, so do the rumors of unlawful relationships and questionable ecclesiastical revelations. Smith’s tight ball of control begins to unravel as different threads are pulled revealing the new practice of Mormon polygamy. Once the truth is brought out into the light, the downfall of Smith and Nauvoo begins as a result of gobsmacked non-polygamist Mormons and non-Mormons.I found this book to be very interesting and informative. It seems that Mr. Park delved into the “meat” of each one of the new sources of information to bring this book to fruition. The cover of the book is beautiful and evocative of a farmer’s utopia. Within the book there are pictures to aid and complement the reader’s understanding.As much as the book is interesting, it becomes dry at times and hard to follow the actual time period as it seems to go back and forth (but this may be a function of the breadth of info that had been gleaned). Also, it seems to me that phrases are intermittently repeated which are not necessary. And, lastly, while I always enjoy pictures to help my understanding when reading, I find that in my copy about half of them are so faint as to be illegible or not of good quality.The slight “negatives” aside, I recommend this book to anyone who loves history or who is curious about early Mormon history. The forgotten is now revealed.My thanks to Liveright Publishing and the author, Benjamin E Park, for this ARC in exchange for a review.
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  • Jack Waters
    January 1, 1970
    What do you get when you combine boomtown dynamics, theocratic bravado, manifest destiny, church v. state battles, secret and illegal marriage practices, America's chaotic expansion, a charismatic leader, a malleable and dogmatic populace, and a whole lot of fun and wackiness? Something like Nauvoo, Illinois in the mid-nineteenth century. And Benjamin E. Park's book does a fantastic job weaving all of these threads in an instructive, fair, and compelling way.Park unearths vital information that What do you get when you combine boomtown dynamics, theocratic bravado, manifest destiny, church v. state battles, secret and illegal marriage practices, America's chaotic expansion, a charismatic leader, a malleable and dogmatic populace, and a whole lot of fun and wackiness? Something like Nauvoo, Illinois in the mid-nineteenth century. And Benjamin E. Park's book does a fantastic job weaving all of these threads in an instructive, fair, and compelling way.Park unearths vital information that isn't widely and easily available to modern Mormons -- he goes deeper than the shiny, toothless representation of the Nauvoo period proferred by Mormon leaders and their correlation-mandated materials. Some of those friendlier happenings are true and essential to the story, but when they are isolated it gives a faulty, lifeless utopian feel to a vicious and visionary paradigm in both Mormon and American history. It's imperative that both the Mormon and historical contexts go together in a C.S.-Lewis-which-shear-is-more-essential-in-scissors way for the story, and Park has the skills and sheer expertise to accomplish the task, raising the ghosts not just among the brick and ornate edifices, but the fallen wooden shacks and buildings as well.In the book's final pages, a personal connection brought me joy. My great-grandma^4, Mary Ann [Frost] Pratt, was fed up with the secret polygamy of her husband, one of the earliest Mormon apostles, Parley Pratt, and was granted a divorce from him. I was happy to see her name in print since it took much resolve to stand up for one's self amid such patriarchal secrecy. It really meant a lot that a book of this import includes such seemingly small details since her husband (my great-grandpa^4) has had endless ink used on his behalf. She's a hero of mine and I feel honored to be her descendant.The book has my highest recommendation, and I will soon re-read it (and re-listen on Audible as well).
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  • Ryan
    January 1, 1970
    A wild ride from start to finish. Despite knowing the end from the beginning, and the broad contours along the way, I compulsively consumed Park's account of Joseph Smith's religious, social, and political innovations during his time in Nauvoo. For the first time I feel that I understand both sides of the the conflict between Illinois and the Mormons. The former were not devils solely hell-bent on destroying God's kingdom, and the latter were not, well, saints innocent of any offense. The Mormon A wild ride from start to finish. Despite knowing the end from the beginning, and the broad contours along the way, I compulsively consumed Park's account of Joseph Smith's religious, social, and political innovations during his time in Nauvoo. For the first time I feel that I understand both sides of the the conflict between Illinois and the Mormons. The former were not devils solely hell-bent on destroying God's kingdom, and the latter were not, well, saints innocent of any offense. The Mormon practice of bloc voting was deeply anti-democratic though understandable given the failure of democracy in protecting their rights in Missouri and the unresponsiveness of the federal government to Mormon pleas for redress. Nauvoo's municipal abuse of habeas corpus review subverted the US legal system, and was both a response to failures of that legal system and prompted further rejection of the US courts to settle disputes. And the double-dealing on Mormon polygamy in Nauvoo—Joseph (and later Hyrum) privately expanded the number of non-monogamous sealings while publicly denying any such behavior—only worsened the Mormon predicament. (Brigham Young's later decision to be public about plural marriage allows me to at least entertain the possibility that polygamy served a divine function, but to me Joseph's secret polygamy is morally indistinguishable from John Bennett's many illicit affairs.) Ultimately, while Joseph did not deserve to be assassinated, he needed to be held accountable. I find it interesting that, decades later, Utah was not allowed to enter the union until the federal government had rectified these three Mormon practices: the Church president was not allowed to be the territorial governor, polygamy was outlawed, and the Saints had to adopt the two-party political system (even though one of those parties was founded on eradicating polygamy).The details on the Council of Fifty were all new to me and underscored two ideas. First, I was aware that the Utah Saints were antagonistic towards the US and even expected (hoped?) the Civil War would destroy the US altogether, but I'd thought that antagonism originated with Smith's martyrdom. Park makes it clear that Mormons were already hostile to democracy, not without reason, during Joseph's life. Second, Joseph had no "final" structure for Church governance in mind. He was constantly innovating new councils and governing bodies, and would have continued to do so as long as he lived.
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  • Russell Fox
    January 1, 1970
    I am not as well read in Mormon history as I once was, back when my work as the Book Review editor for Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought kept me, if not thoroughly familiar with all the books of history which passed through my hands, than at least abreast of most of the developments in the field. But it's been a few years since I've attended closely to such conversations, so I don't know if Benjamin Park's superb history is as unique or needed as I feel it is upon reading it. Still, that's I am not as well read in Mormon history as I once was, back when my work as the Book Review editor for Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought kept me, if not thoroughly familiar with all the books of history which passed through my hands, than at least abreast of most of the developments in the field. But it's been a few years since I've attended closely to such conversations, so I don't know if Benjamin Park's superb history is as unique or needed as I feel it is upon reading it. Still, that's my reaction, however unrepresentative of the current state of the sub-discipline it may be, and I'm standing by it: this is the most full and satisfying work of early Mormon history I've read since Richard Bushman's ground-breaking biography of Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling, many years. And looking back on my thoughts about and reactions to the story which that book told, I realize how appropriate it is that Park's book put me in mind of Bushman's biography, because the story Park tells, making use of information about Smith's Council of Fifty which was unavailable to Bushman, deepens our engagement with questions anyone interested in early Mormon history must have about Smith's own relationship to American pluralism, liberalism, and democracy--questions which, arguably, Park answers differently than Bushman did.To put it as simplistically as possible, Bushman presented Smith towards the end of his life, at least on my reading, as someone energetically, even frantically (and often duplicitly), cobbling together in his city of Nauvoo a distinctly, if unconventionally, American vision for himself and the Mormon people: political power, economic growth, military strength, personal liberty, etc. Park, however, emphasizes the profoundly--if usually incoherently or even ignorantly--illiberal and radical character of what Smith had in mind; he is able to speak more directly, with greater documentary support, as to what Smith called "theodemocracy," and how his expression of this ideal is obviously rooted in what so many early members of the Mormon church quite reasonably--and publicly--identified as the failures of democracy on the mid-19th-century American frontier. I am not entirely convinced by the case Park makes here for understanding Smith's experiments as representing something important in our assessment of the development of American democracy; Park sometimes writes as though he is producing a work of intellectual history, but his treatment of the theoretical arguments which the various (often obviously incompatible) facets of Smith's innovations touch upon isn't developed in a thorough enough way to really give us a "theory" of Joseph Smith himself.Still, before a political theory, we need some political facts, and the facts which Park presents here are essential. I learned a huge amount from this book about things that I know Bushman, for all his research, had no answer to: basic matters like who the Mormons of Nauvoo supported in various Illinois elections, or how Smith's wholly quixotic presidential campaign was conceived, organized, and carried out in late 1843 and early 1844, or even such fundamentals of how voting was conducted in Nauvoo. Moreover, he weaves all of these facts together into a portrait of the American frontier (and in particular Illinois) which wonderfully complements other, more broad histories of 19th-century America, complete with extensive treatments of Stephen Douglas and multiple other key individuals. So as an addition to my historical understanding of the world Smith lived in and built towards the end of his life, Park's work is absolutely crucial. I'm going to have to think more about what a better understanding of all this provides me with in terms of my theoretical grasp of the evolution of liberal democracy in 19th-century America, but thanks to Park I have tools to do so that I lacked before, and that's something I'm deeply appreciative of.
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  • Richard West
    January 1, 1970
    Growing up in Quincy, Illinois - which is relatively close, all things considered - to Nauvoo, a trip to Nauvoo to see where the "nutty Mormons" (as my father called them) tried to set up a religious kingdom was almost a "must-see" type of experience. In addition, having seen a movie (on the Late Show which was what the local TV stations used to show at 10:30 {CT} instead of a talk show featuring someone who is about as funny as a bad case of hemorrhoids) I became more and more curious over the Growing up in Quincy, Illinois - which is relatively close, all things considered - to Nauvoo, a trip to Nauvoo to see where the "nutty Mormons" (as my father called them) tried to set up a religious kingdom was almost a "must-see" type of experience. In addition, having seen a movie (on the Late Show which was what the local TV stations used to show at 10:30 {CT} instead of a talk show featuring someone who is about as funny as a bad case of hemorrhoids) I became more and more curious over the years about the Mormon experience in Illinois. At some point, we made the trip to Nauvoo, but now, some 67 years later, I honestly have to admit to remembering nothing about it.Having said all that, when I saw this book was coming out, I was hoping it would fill in the blanks and remind me what the Mormon's time in Illinois was all about, and I have to admit, it did all that and more. Meticulously researched and drawing upon documents from the Latter Day Saints church, Benjamin Park takes the reader back to before Nauvoo, explains what Nauvoo was all about and why it came to be, and culminates in the exodus of the Mormon faithful, eventually winding up in Salt Lake City. Over the years, I have known a number of people who were members of the Mormon church and it's safe to say, the church has changed a great deal since the 1840's. I can't imagine any of the people I have known engaging in polygamy for example (I found that having one was more than enough, thank you very much!), yet that belief was one of the major problems that tended to separate the Mormons from most Americans, although it wasn't the only one. Joseph Smith, the church's founder, for example, most assuredly had developed a "God complex" which eventually led to his downfall and execution.This book presents a truly fascinating look at the early years of the Mormon church and if you've ever wondered how it came to be, what it was all about in the early years, and how it almost self-destructed, this is must reading.If there is one drawback, it would be the lack of illustrations. While there are some - all from the 1800's - a look at modern-day Nauvoo would have been helpful and of interest. It's truly amazing how a city of 10,000 or more people, has settled into a sleepy tourist area today with about 1800 people calling it home.This book isn't for everyone, but if you have an interest in the Mormon church, early American history, particularly during the religious boom of the mid-1800's, this will give a good insight into what it was all about.
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  • Mehrsa
    January 1, 1970
    With newly released documents, Park has created a definitive history of the Mormon churchs polygamy chapter in Nauvoo. The book is really well-written and thought-provoking With newly released documents, Park has created a definitive history of the Mormon church’s polygamy chapter in Nauvoo. The book is really well-written and thought-provoking
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  • Christopher Angulo
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't want to like this book, and for the first hundred pages, I felt justified in my feelings. There wasn't much in those first 100 pages that I didn't know, or hadn't read before. The rest of the book though... wow! I loved his analysis and framing of events. It was fast paced and I felt that I could picture things as they happened. Most importantly, it provided some excellent lenses to see Joseph and Nauvoo in new ways that have strengthened my faith, but also increased my I didn't want to like this book, and for the first hundred pages, I felt justified in my feelings. There wasn't much in those first 100 pages that I didn't know, or hadn't read before. The rest of the book though... wow! I loved his analysis and framing of events. It was fast paced and I felt that I could picture things as they happened. Most importantly, it provided some excellent lenses to see Joseph and Nauvoo in new ways that have strengthened my faith, but also increased my charity/understanding for humanity.
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  • Brett Hinton
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like it more than I did. I think it succeeds at telling a more balanced narrative of the political realities of governing Nauvoo and it's controversial charter with accompanying ramifications throughout the years including it's significant impact on the conditions leading to Joseph and Hyrum's death. Polygamy in all its messiness is a significant thread throughout. It's treatment is largely centered around the author's theme for the book and remains a topic which rarely allows for I wanted to like it more than I did. I think it succeeds at telling a more balanced narrative of the political realities of governing Nauvoo and it's controversial charter with accompanying ramifications throughout the years including it's significant impact on the conditions leading to Joseph and Hyrum's death. Polygamy in all its messiness is a significant thread throughout. It's treatment is largely centered around the author's theme for the book and remains a topic which rarely allows for uncomplicated explanations. There was interesting background on the introduction of Freemasonry during the Nauvoo era that I hadn't read much of. In the end, I think it is a worthwhile read into the expansive and often radical reimagination of political, social and religious life that Joseph drove during the Nauvoo era. Some areas I feel left me a little wanting: the treatment of polygamy during this era (and in general) can be a difficult one but it seemed both overrepresented and underdeveloped (is that even possible?) It's likely my own cognitive dissonance got in the way with the author's message. I also had this feeling that, while the author attempted to provide some backstory for the events leading up to the Nauvoo era and the accompanying impacts those events had on the evolution of societal, governmental and judicial thought of the Saints, it wasn't quite enough. I feel like there is great coverage of the magnitude and frequency of abuse of habeus corpus (to the point of absurbity from Joseph), for example, which allows me to have a much better understanding of the reasoning behind the state and national government responses along with citizens and towns around Nauvoo. I don't feel the same about the coverage of the magnitude and frequency of judicial or governmental efforts previous to the Nauvoo era that likely contributed to the extremism we see represented during the Nauvoo era. In the end, while I didn't love the book, I think it provides a valuable lens to see the Nauvoo era in both from American frontier history and Church history.
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  • Rory McFarlan
    January 1, 1970
    Kingdom of Nauvoo is a well researched, accurate, objective history of the Mormon Kingdom built on the Mississippi in the 1840s. Park does a great job of detailing the fascinating story of the rise and fall of this city on the American frontier. Joseph Smith and his followers pushed political, religious, and societal boundaries during this period in attempt to redefine the contract between a people and its government, and between one another.The book accurately describes the events leading up to Kingdom of Nauvoo is a well researched, accurate, objective history of the Mormon Kingdom built on the Mississippi in the 1840s. Park does a great job of detailing the fascinating story of the rise and fall of this city on the American frontier. Joseph Smith and his followers pushed political, religious, and societal boundaries during this period in attempt to redefine the contract between a people and its government, and between one another.The book accurately describes the events leading up to the martyrdom of the Smith brothers and subsequent exodus from the United States.Park also manages to provide unique insights into the life and perspectives of Emma Smith and other strong Mormon women of the time and I came away with a much greater understanding of, and appreciation for Emma.The insights into the differences between Joseph's vision for the church and government of the people, and that of Brigham Young are poignant.I very much enjoyed this book. It is very well done. I recommend it to all interested in Mormon history and pre civil war American history.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating. Kingdom of Nauvoo is the first book about Nauvoo written after the release of the Council of Fifty minutes. Those minutes, along with other discoveries through the Joseph Smith Paper's Project and Ben Park's own research and analysis leads to a fascinating read about a tumultuous time in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dr. Park pays careful attention to include the voices and experiences of women and racial minorities who are often left out of Fascinating. Kingdom of Nauvoo is the first book about Nauvoo written after the release of the Council of Fifty minutes. Those minutes, along with other discoveries through the Joseph Smith Paper's Project and Ben Park's own research and analysis leads to a fascinating read about a tumultuous time in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dr. Park pays careful attention to include the voices and experiences of women and racial minorities who are often left out of narratives about this time. Park contextualizes the radical theocratic experiment began in Nauvoo while demonstrating how the LDS experiments fits in with contemporary challenges to American democratic ideals. It is the first work I've read that left me understanding why, from a legal, cultural, political, and religious perspective, the enemies of Joseph Smith felt that his murder was their only recourse. The book is well written and is an essential work in Mormon Studies that crosses over well to a general audience.
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  • Michael MacKay
    January 1, 1970
    Park's Kingdom of Nauvoo is essential reading for American religion and politics. He pins Nauvoo Mormonism to the vivisection table to display the physiology of American democracy and its expressions, revealing how an empire and theocracy could take hold of the hearts and minds of antebellum Americans. His exciting narrative reveals that Mormonism is essential to understanding American history. If one ever wondered how a theocrat, polygamy, and s Kingdom of priests represented a democratic Park's Kingdom of Nauvoo is essential reading for American religion and politics. He pins Nauvoo Mormonism to the vivisection table to display the physiology of American democracy and its expressions, revealing how an empire and theocracy could take hold of the hearts and minds of antebellum Americans. His exciting narrative reveals that Mormonism is essential to understanding American history. If one ever wondered how a theocrat, polygamy, and s Kingdom of priests represented a democratic nation, this is the book for you.
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    Deeply cited, extensive primary sources, and an understanding of the genesis of Mormonism in the context of the Second Great Awakening and millennial contexts. I visited Nauvoo last summer as part of a broad road trip. I wish this book was available then.
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  • Geoffrey
    January 1, 1970
    (Note: I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley)In Kingdom of Nauvoo, Benjamin Parks extensive use of primary resources paints as detailed a picture as one can possibly get of this attempted new Jerusalem by the Mississippi River. Between the beginnings of polygamy as a major doctrine and another changes in the development of the faith and the efforts Joseph Smith and other LDS leaders put into trying to have their city be both a part of the existing US governing systems yet (Note: I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley)In “Kingdom of Nauvoo,” Benjamin Park’s extensive use of primary resources paints as detailed a picture as one can possibly get of this attempted new Jerusalem by the Mississippi River. Between the beginnings of polygamy as a major doctrine and another changes in the development of the faith and the efforts Joseph Smith and other LDS leaders put into trying to have their city be both a part of the existing US governing systems yet simultaneously as separate as could possibly be, this fascinating read makes it clear that although it lasted only a few years, the Nauvoo era is as critical a point as any in the history of the Latter-Day Saints, if not one of its most formative periods.
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  • Bentley Mitchell
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great read. It is meticulously researched and very well written, with readable stories and information to present the history from multiple perspectives. Dr. Park does a fair, even-handed job covering controversial topicsfrom polygamy to politics to church governance. Those who are looking for a book to lionize Joseph Smith and the early Latter-day Saint/Mormon leaders may come away disappointed, as this book is designed to simply recount and discuss the history. But for the same This was a great read. It is meticulously researched and very well written, with readable stories and information to present the history from multiple perspectives. Dr. Park does a fair, even-handed job covering controversial topics—from polygamy to politics to church governance. Those who are looking for a book to lionize Joseph Smith and the early Latter-day Saint/Mormon leaders may come away disappointed, as this book is designed to simply recount and discuss the history. But for the same reason, those looking for a book to demonize Joseph Smith and early LDS/Mormon leaders will also come away equally disappointed. At times, I wanted to know more detail about certain people or stories. But this wasn’t a story about any one particular person or family. This was a book about Nauvoo. While some—like Joseph Smith, Emma Smith, and others—necessarily have larger roles in that story, it’s the story of the community of Nauvoo, not just the story of one person, family, or group. After reading this book, I came away with a much greater understanding and appreciation for the role that Nauvoo played in the history of the Latter-day Saints and Mormonism (including all the offshoot groups) as a whole. The stories and history of Nauvoo shaped the Church and continue to do so today. This type of book is immensely helpful in understanding both the historical and contemporary context. And from all that I’ve seen, there hasn’t been any work that so thoroughly covers and discusses that context in a single volume like this with great writing and a historian’s eye for detail and context (Rough Stone Rolling does a wonderful job of covering Joseph Smith’s personal history, but as mentioned, this book isn’t just about Joseph). All in all, it’s well worth the read and is a great addition to Mormon and American history.
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  • C.
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating work of history. Massively researched using a wealth of sources, including much primary material. This seems to have been a labor of love for Benjamin Park, and it shows.His book is also well written and has a great narrative pace -- it's a pleasing blend of historical rigor and literary quality.This has long been a subject I've wanted to know more about, so I'm very pleased to have read Park's book. I've read just bits and pieces here and there about the Mormon flight westward and A fascinating work of history. Massively researched using a wealth of sources, including much primary material. This seems to have been a labor of love for Benjamin Park, and it shows.His book is also well written and has a great narrative pace -- it's a pleasing blend of historical rigor and literary quality.This has long been a subject I've wanted to know more about, so I'm very pleased to have read Park's book. I've read just bits and pieces here and there about the Mormon flight westward and the role they played in ultimately settling the West. Park shines light on a remarkable part of that story. For most readers who are not well-versed in Mormon history and theology, the story of Nauvoo will be fresh and eye-opening.I hope Park finds a wide readership and good critical reception for his book. It is deserving of both.(Thanks to Liveright for a complimentary advance copy in exchange for an unbiased review.)
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    Park produces excellent history that manages to navigate a complex set of source materials with care and precision. The result is an engaging read that asks productive questions concerning the ways sovereignty, faith, prejudice, and fear ebb and flow throughout this segment of American religious and political history. In doing so, he also makes the case that this particular story continues to resonate within the landscape of power in the contemporary United States. Well written, thoughtful, and Park produces excellent history that manages to navigate a complex set of source materials with care and precision. The result is an engaging read that asks productive questions concerning the ways sovereignty, faith, prejudice, and fear ebb and flow throughout this segment of American religious and political history. In doing so, he also makes the case that this particular story continues to resonate within the landscape of power in the contemporary United States. Well written, thoughtful, and balanced. Highly recommended.
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  • Jeanne Nichols
    January 1, 1970
    Although this book was mostly well written and well researched, it did not seem to me to be impartial. It presented a chapter of LDS history I knew very little about and it was very interesting to learn about that era. However, there were times when I did not know what year was being discussed. I enjoyed reading this book and would probably read other books by this author, if the subject matter intrigued me.
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  • Zaron
    January 1, 1970
    This is a pretty good book, I've read a bunch of books on Mormon history so I can't say I learned a ton but if you're new to the topic this is a good examination of the Nauvoo years of early Mormon history. The book's power comes in contextualizing Mormon skepticism of American democracy/mobocracy in the wider American doubts in Jacksonian democracy.
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  • Ellis LeRoy
    January 1, 1970
    I thought it was a well written historical book of Nauvoo period of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am glad that we are seeing accurate historical writing taking place now of our Churchs history. I would recommend it to anyone. I thought it was a well written historical book of Nauvoo period of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am glad that we are seeing accurate historical writing taking place now of our Church’s history. I would recommend it to anyone.
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  • Bill Sleeman
    January 1, 1970
    An engaging history of one stage in the development of the Mormon experience.
  • Barbara White
    January 1, 1970
    Kingdom of Navoo is a great history lesson and would be a good book for a college religion class. Thanks to Goodreads First Reads for my copy of this book.
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