Expand Your Historical Knowledge with New Books by Volume Editors
Our volume editors stay busy with their work on forthcoming volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers, yet they somehow find time to publish books presenting their scholarship, which extends beyond the realm of Joseph Smith. David W. Grua, Spencer W. McBride, and Brent M. Rogers are the most recent to see their books appear on retail store shelves.
In Surviving Wounded Knee: The Lakotas and the Politics of Memory, Grua examines the decades following the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, focusing on the Lakotas’ attempts to obtain redress after more than two hundred men, women, and children in the tribe perished at the hands of the U.S. Army. Grua contends that the Lakotas’ collective memory of the Massacre—manifested in their legal pursuit of compensation, accounts they related to receptive whites, and a monument erected in South Dakota—challenged the U.S. Army’s portrayal of Wounded Knee as the ultimate victory of civilization over savagery in North America. According to Grua, the Lakotas’ response to Wounded Knee emerged from a broader struggle against the United States’ narrative of indigenous conquest, and their collective efforts to alter the memory of Wounded Knee provided a foundation for future Native American activists. The book was included in Choice magazine’s Outstanding Academic Title list, which recognizes publications that exemplify excellent scholarship and presentation, as well as make a significant contribution to their field, often as the first treatment of a subject.
Pulpit and Nation: Clergymen and the Politics of Revolutionary America, by McBride, elucidates the role of religion in the founding era of the United States. The book highlights how the political activism of Protestant clergymen evolved and expanded, ultimately becoming an integral contribution to the country’s national identity. By scrutinizing critical points in the formation of the US political system―from the Revolution to the establishment of political parties―McBride illuminates the way in which religious and political beliefs and motivations became intertwined in the nation’s early development. Through cogent examples and analysis, McBride reveals that the religious expression in politics of the founding era was not only the natural result of a religious people but also a strategy employed by men who desired positions of power.
In Unpopular Sovereignty: Mormons and the Federal Management of Early Utah Territory, Rogers examines Mormon pioneers’ efforts to establish popular sovereignty in Utah Territory, contrasting their experience with that in Kansas, where applying the concept to the question of slavery led to bloodshed. In presenting the intricate relationship between national and territorial sovereignty, Rogers focuses on three factors that significantly influenced public perceptions of the Saints’ capabilities to govern themselves: the nation’s form of government, policies regarding Native Americans, and family and gender relations. Because of Utah’s territorial status, it was part of broader discussions on popular sovereignty and the federal government’s expansion of power in the West. Rogers concludes that just as with the experience of popular sovereignty in Kansas, the debate over popular sovereignty in Utah had far-reaching effects in a country that was headed toward civil war.