The Mormon Image in the American Mind: Fifty Years of Public Perception

J.B. Haws. Oxford Univ., $29.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-19-989764-3
In 1968, when George Romney ran for president, his Mormon faith was a nonissue in the press. Forty years later, when his son Mitt attempted the first of two runs for the same office, his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the topic of widespread interest and controversy. What had changed in the intervening years? Haws, a professor of church history at LDS-owned Brigham Young University, explores how Mormonism has risen and fallen in the public eye. After a period of being publicly admired for their family values and work ethic in the 1960s, Mormons by the 1980s found themselves the targets of deep animosity, exacerbated by the church’s handling of conflicts such as the 1993 ex-communications of six intellectuals. In 1995, with the installation of a media-savvy church president, Mormons once again enjoyed a honeymoon period with the press, though the 2008 campaign season renewed some old criticisms about Mormon institutional power. Overall, this is a competent and straightforward survey of Mormonism’s on-again, off-again relationship with the media and the American public. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 11/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 425 pages - 978-0-19-989765-0
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