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    Joseph Smith: Cultural Biography of Mormonism's Founder (Paperback) By (author) Richard Lyman Bushman

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    DescriptionJoseph Smith, America's preeminent visionary and prophet, rose from a modest background to found the largest indigenous Christian church in American history. Without the benefit of wealth, education, or social position, he published the 584-page "Book of Mormon" when he was twenty-three; organized a church when he was twenty-four; and founded cities, built temples, and attracted thousands of followers before his violent death at age thirty-eight. Rather than perishing with him, Mormonism migrated to the Rocky Mountains, flourished there, and now claims millions of followers worldwide. In "Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling," Richard Bushman, an esteemed American cultural historian and a practicing Mormon, tells how Smith formed a new religion from the ground up. Moving beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud, the book explores the inner workings of his personality-his personal piety, his temper, his affection for family and friends, and his incredible determination. It describes how he received revelations and why his followers believed them. Smith was a builder of cities. He sought to form egalitarian, just, and open communities under God and laid out a plan for ideal cities, which he hoped would fill the world. Adopted as the model for hundreds of Mormon settlements in the West, Smith's urban vision may have left a more lasting imprint on the landscape than that of any other American. He was controversial from his earliest years. His followers honored him as a man who spoke for God and restored biblical religion. His enemies maligned him as a dangerous religious fanatic, an American Mohammad, and drove the Mormons from every place in which they settled. Smith's ultimate assassination by an armed mob raises the question of whether American democracy can tolerate visionaries. The book gives more attention to Joseph Smith's innovative religious thought than any previous biography. As Bushman writes, "His followers derived their energy and purpose from the religious world he brought into being." Some of the teachings were controversial, such as property redistribution and plural marriage, but Smith's revelations also delved into cosmology and the history of God. They spoke of the origins of the human personality and the purpose of life. While thoroughly Christian, Smith radically reconceived the relationship between humans and God. The book evaluates the Mormon prophet's bold contributions to Christian theology and situates him culturally in the modern world. Published on the two hundredth anniversary of Smith's birth, "Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling" is an in-depth portrayal of the mysterious figure behind one of the world's fastest growing faiths.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Joseph Smith

    Joseph Smith
    Cultural Biography of Mormonism's Founder
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Richard Lyman Bushman
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 768
    Width: 160 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 53 mm
    Weight: 1,134 g
    ISBN 13: 9781400042708
    ISBN 10: 1400042704

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: REL
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T6.4
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: TP028
    Ingram Theme: RELI/CHRIST
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T General Subject: 170
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 03
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    Ingram Subject Code: BA
    Libri: I-BA
    DC22: B
    ECPA Christian Book Category: INSCHIBIO
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HRCC99
    Ingram Theme: RELI/MORMON
    BISAC V2.8: HIS036040
    ECPA Christian Book Category: CHMCHLDNC
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15430
    B&T Approval Code: A13807000
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: TP070
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 289.3092
    LC subject heading: ,
    BISAC V2.8: REL046000
    DC22: 289.3/092
    BISAC V2.8: BIO018000
    LC classification: BX8695.S6 B875 2005
    Illustrations note
    Random House USA Inc
    Imprint name
    Random House USA Children's Books
    Publication date
    28 April 2006
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Richard Lyman Bushman, Gouverneur Morris Professor of History, Emeritus, at Columbia University, grew up in Portland, Oregon, and earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University. He has also taught at Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware. His From Puritan to Yankee: Character and Social Order in Connecticut, 1690—1765 won the Bancroft Prize in 1967. His other books include Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (1984), winner of the Evans Biography Award; King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (1985); and The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (1992). A practicing Mormon, he lives in New York City with his wife, Claudia.
    Review quote
    "Once again, Richard Bushman, one of our finest historians, delivers a superior performance. The book is prodigiously researched, carefully argued, and elegantly written. In its pages Joseph Smith emerges as neither hero nor charlatan, but as a strangely gifted yet thoroughly believable product of his time and place." --Grant Wacker, author of "Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture" "Hands down, this is the most balanced and informed study of American's larger-than-life Prophet and Seer, Joseph Smith. It is also an important history of the founding era of Mormonism's founding era. "Rough Stone Rolling" is for insiders and outsiders alike, a landmark in Mormon writing and a contribution to American religious studies. It has grace, style, and intelligence-and quiet piety and frank honesty, too." --Ronald W. Walker, author of "Mormon History" "Clearly the definitive biography for generations to come. Most balanced, thorough, and insightful treatment to date--truly a masterful work. Wonderfully grounded in its interpretations. Wise in its judgments, penetrating in its analysis, and rich in historical and cultural detail without ever losing sight of its subject. Bushman does full justice to this most complex and influential of all American religious innovators." --Terryl Givens, author of "The Latter-Day Saint Experience in America" "This biography recasts the study of Joseph Smith for the next generation. Bushman, a distinguished historian and faithful believer, legitimizes Smith as a modern prophet and seeks the measure of this enigmatic man. The volume challenges readers to reconcile Smith's remarkable religious accomplishments with his often seemingly self-serving personal actions." --Stephen Stein, author of "The Shaker Experience in America " "At last a Joseph Smith to which Mormons and non-Mormons alike can relate. Meticulously researched, beautifully written, and g