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I think that a direct comparison of this section in Turner's volume to American Moses really illustrates Turner's strengths and Arrington's weaknesses. Arrington is quite readable, but he doesn't get much of the context of the pre-Mormon period and some that he does get is not quite accurate.

I think you're probably right, J, although it has been awhile since I've read American Moses. In fairness, we could at least say it was a real step forward for its time. Recall that Story of the Latter-day Saints, a fairly tame one-volume LDS history that came out only a decade earlier, got some GAs upset because it was too candid and used big words like "communitarian." So there was only so far one could push the envelope in Arrington's time. Then there are all those fluffy biographies put out by Deseret Book; American Moses set an entirely different standard for future serious LDS biographies to meet.

Oh, I agree, Dave. Arrington has strengths as well.

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