Sep 19 2020
American Zions: Past and Contemporary Radical Morm...

American Zions: Past and Contemporary Radical Morm...

Presented by Torrey House Press and Grand County Public Library and Utah Humanities at Online/Virtual Space

Betsy Gaines Quammen, author of American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God, & Public Lands in the West, joins American Polygamy authors Craig L. Foster, and Marianne T. Watson for a discussion on the culture surrounding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During this Utah Book Festival event, authors will explore the history of radical Mormonism – from plural family arrangements to modern-day militias. This event is in partnership with Book Bungalow, Utah Humanities, Grand County Public Library, and Torrey House Press.

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“Brilliant and electrifying . . . Gaines Quammen’s voice is bright, engaging, and smart. She listens. She is fair. But she is not seduced by cowboy mythology. Her vision calls for an ecological wisdom that can govern our communities, both human and wild, with reverence and respect.” —TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS

​What happens when members of an American religion—one built in the nineteenth century on personal prophecy and land proprietorship—assert possession over western federal lands, armed with guns and a certainty that God wants them to go to war? American Zion is the story of the ongoing feud between Mormon ranching family the Bundys, the federal government, and the American public. Historian Betsy Gaines Quammen examines the roots of the Bundys’ cowboy confrontations, and how history has shaped an often-dangerous mindset which today feeds the militia movement and threatens public lands, wild species, and American heritage.

Today’s Fundamentalist Mormons in the American West resist assimilation like their forefathers. Centered on faith, they survive despite efforts to permanently end their cherished plural family arrangements. While some Fundamentalists like Warren Jeffs go rogue and corrupt their beliefs in heinous crimes, most hold steadfastly to a religion they say is biblical and restored by the first Latter-day Saint prophet, Joseph Smith, in the early 1800s. Mormon historians Craig Foster and Marianne Watson present more than two hundred photos and exclusive insights to explain how an estimated thirty thousand Fundamentalist Mormons still venerate a much-debated legacy–despite its difficult challenges–and persist in living plural marriage.

Admission Info

Free Admission

Dates & Times

2020/09/19 - 2020/09/19

Location Info

Online/Virtual Space