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Amen. An excellent book. I found the first couple of chapters a little slow going - can't remember why, but after that I found it fascinating. I came away with a great desire to read more about Joseph F. Smith. A complex man but portrayed in this book as a visionary, who saw a necessary future for the church that few others of the old guard were willing to accept. Anyone know of a decent biography about him?

I remember reading an essay on the "new narrative" President Smith was attempting in some academic religion journal during college. Neglected to note the author or title, but it sounds an awful lot like what you've described here.

Perhaps the essay was simply a precursor, or a condensed version of the corresponding chapter in the book.

I always wondered where that came from. Thanks Dave.

I agree the book was interesting.

Among my favorite tidbits is when she mentions Apostle Smoot's testimony to the Senate hearing that he was "not a very active" Mormon.

This is in my queue; I'm looking forward to it.

Gomez, Scott Kenny was working on a Biography for him that was going to be amazing and he has put a ton of work into it. Saddly, I don't think he is actively working on it right now.

Dave:

Is there much discussion of the policy positions advocated by Smoot or is this more a book about the triumph having an Apostle serve as a US Senator?

endlessnego, neither, really. Not much on Smoot's career in the Senate after he took his seat. The focus of the book is the complicated political maneuvering of the hearings themselves, which stretched over four years and involved both the Senate and the President as well as a subplot between Smoot, LDS President Joseph F. Smith, and the Quorum of the Twelve (which regulated its own affairs somewhat independently of Smith).

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