MORMON RESISTANCE (University of Nebraska Press, $29.95)

mormon-resistanceOne of the best bargains in all publishing is the series called Bison Books from the University of Nebraska.

These are reprints of important volumes that have long been out-of-print. This particular title is a new edition of a 1958 book published by another great asset of Western Americana, the Arthur H. Clark Company. The least-known of all of America’s many (too many) wars is probably not the sad Philippine Insurrection or even the undeclared naval war with France in 1798, but the Utah War of 1857-58. Here is a documentary history of that forgotten civil war, thankfully a bloodless one. As a result of misunderstandings on both sides, a 2,500-man U.S. Army invaded Utah Territory. The army was to depose a supposedly rebellious Gov. Brigham Young and pacify unruly Mormons. Yet the Saints proved to be natural, born-again guerrillas with a knack for scorched earth tactics (they even burnt down the army’s base, old Fort Bridger). Fortunately, the Saints accepted the new governor, and Washington and Salt Lake City patched up things before blood was spilt over mere rumors and suspicions.

 

—Richard H. Dillon


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