Reviews – Mormonism Unvailed

Mormonism Unvailed“Eber D. Howe’s Mormonism Unvailed was the single most influential critical book on Joseph Smith in the nineteenth century. Howe was the primary source for scores of writers who followed him. No one is better prepared than Dan Vogel to put this work into its historical context. His preface and notes illuminate the debate about Joseph Smith’s character that has raged since before the church was organized.” —Richard Lyman Bushman, Governeur Morris Professor of History Emeritus, Columbia University; national advisory board, Joseph Smith Papers Project; author, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

Mormonism Unvailed has long deserved a critical edition, which this new volume handsomely supplies. Howe provides the raw stuff of history: affidavits, letters, newspaper accounts, and revelations from both Mormon sources and Smith family neighbors. Vogel adds an impressive set of scholarly notes and cross references that will aid modern readers as they weigh these controversial historical texts. Thanks to Signature Books for supplying historians with a new edition of this important work.” —Ann Taves, Professor of Religious Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara; Fellow, Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto; author, Religious Experience Reconsidered

“Despite an obvious bias, Eber D. Howe provided a service to historians the way he gathered eyewitness accounts and primary documents, for which he was never properly recognized. He was the first to publish some of Joseph Smith’s revelations, and he preserved the contents of vital early correspondence. Now Dan Vogel has done his usual exceptional work of editing and annotating this indispensable historical source. His placing of Howe’s documents in context and analyzing their value will allow for the construction of enhanced explanations of Mormon origins.” —Jan Shipps, Professor Emerita of History and Religious Studies, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts; former president, American Society of Church History; former president, Mormon History Association; author, Sojourner in the Promised Land: Forty Years among the Mormons