praise for Nauvoo Polygamy

Nauvoo Polygamy“Through exhaustive research and documentation, George Smith has chronicled the definitive account of polygamy in early Mormonism … with encyclopedic detail.” —William D. Morain, John Whitmer Historical Journal

“George D. Smith, long a student of Mormon polygamy, offers the most detailed and sophisticated analysis of polygamy’s origins and practice during the life of the prophet.” —Roger D. Launius, Journal of Illinois History

“[Here is] a portal to understanding where some contemporary Utah polygamists found inspiration for their way of life. From child brides and secret ceremonies to a defiance of marriage laws, the narrative in Nauvoo Polygamy illustrates the development and breadth of polygamy as first practiced in the 1840s by members of the LDS Church living in Illinois. … It uniquely chronicles Illinois marriages between 196 Mormon men and 717 women—about four wives to each man.” —Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press

“The origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are hidden by the sands of time. … In Mormonism, we are close enough to the origins of the fourth Abrahamic religion … so that an accurate account of its historical beginnings is available. … Contributing to that history is this meticulously researched and well documented book.” —Paul Kurtz, editor in chief, Free Inquiry

“I was astonished to learn that … Joseph Smith had married an average of one new wife a month between April 1841 and November 1843 and that he personally launched at least thirty-three plural marriages among his closest friends … to share the ‘favors and privileges of polygamy.’ … The author reads between the lines of diaries, autobiographies, letters, affidavits, Church records, and the authorized History of the Church … to show how Joseph Smith went about secretly courting and marrying women … This was publicly denied during Smith’s lifetime and kept secret for eight years after his death.” —Vickie Cleverly Speek, Association for Mormon Letters Online Reviews

“In his ambitious new book, … George D. Smith adds a square to the patchwork portrait that remains a work in progress some 164 years after the death of the charismatic founder of the LDS Church. … Nauvoo Polygamy is a hefty tome that draws on diaries, letters, marriage records, affidavits, and Church records.” —Brooke Adams, The Salt Lake Tribune

“This book significantly broadens our understanding of plural marriage as practiced during the 1840s. In order to get a complete picture and understanding of Joseph Smith, I see this book as absolutely essential reading.” —Newell Bringhurst, co-editor, The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy

“Impressive, meticulous, insightful, detailed, and documented historical scholarship by a noted Mormon historian … highly recommended reading.” —Midwest Book Review

Nauvoo Polygamy changes our understanding of a plurality of wives. It provides indisputable, quantifiable evidence that the scope of plural marriage was more broad and deep than we had imagined. It was all laid out in Nauvoo. The book’s view on plural marriage in its earliest and subterranean years suggest that underage marriage has always been a part of the story.” —Martha Sonntag Bradley, author of Four Zinas: A Story of Mothers and Daughters on the Mormon Frontier

“George D. Smith has done some of the best work on early polygamy and Nauvoo. He tries very hard to say it like it is.” —B. Carmon Hardy, author, Doing the Works of Abraham: Mormon Polygamy, Its Origin, Practice, and Demise

“The author traces the origins and establishment of Joseph Smith’s vision of ‘spiritual wives’ before it ever stepped foot in Utah. … He places a human face on the men and women who struggled with their strange lives in a new religion. … Whether you are a history buff, … or just waiting for the new season of Big Love to start, Nauvoo Polygamy should be on your reading list.” —Dallas Robbins, Salt Lake Weekly