Juanita Brooks: Mormon Woman Historian

Levi Peterson, Author, Royden Card, Illustrator University of Utah Press $19.95 (505p) ISBN 978-0-87480-298-6
Raised within the Mormon tradition, the now 90-year-old Juanita Brooksteacher, writer, historianwas motivated by an intellectual curiosity that eventually pitted her against the establishment of the Latter Day Saints, shows Peterson ( The Backslider , etc.) in this detailed but plodding biography. Alongside her duties as parent and homemaker, she devoted herself to unearthing diaries and records of early settlers and organized a Utah library of Mormon history. One of the tragic chapters in that history was the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, in which Brigham Young was vaguely implicated, but for which a scapegoat, one John D. Lee, paid with his life, according to the author. In bringing to light the suppressed evidence and documenting the skewed investigation, Brooks's reputation as an uncompromising historian was established: ``She had become the public voice, otherwise silent, of confession and contrition for the most shameful deed in Mormon history.'' Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-87480-512-3
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