Selected Book Reviews

Julie’s knowledge and expertise in American history and religion makes her a natural choice when other historians need thorough, balanced reviews for their own titles. Here are several she has written:

Jeannette Rankin CoverJeannette Rankin: America’s Conscience by Norma Smith

“Jeannette Rankin was not the only member of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against America’s entry into World War I in 1917. She was, however, the only woman serving in the House. In fact, Rankin, a new representative from the state of Montana, was the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Although soundly criticized for her position on the war by men as well as by the leading women’s rights groups at the time, Rankin never regretted her vote. Later she would call it…” (Please click HERE to continue reading this review; HERE for information on purchasing the book.)


The Mormon Question CoverThe Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth Century America by Sarah Barringer Gordon

“In 1852, Brigham Young, prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stunned respectable Americans with his frank announcement that he and his band of religious refugees in the Utah territory both endorsed and engaged in the practice of polygamy. The Saints, commonly called Mormons, believed that God had charged them with the restoration of the “fullness” of the primitive Christian gospel, including the revival of the biblical practice of plural marriage. Since their founding in 1830, the Mormons had been a source of ridicule and fear among their neighbors in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri. By the mid-1840s, alarm over the growing political and economic power of the church resulted in increasingly violent…” (Click HERE to continue reading this review; click HERE for author Sarah Gordon; HERE to buy her book.)


KidnappedKidnapped From That Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists by Martha Sonntag Bradley

“In 1953 the state of Arizona conducted the last in a series of armed police raids on the polygamist settlement of Short Creek, hoping to break up the colony for good and prevent further commission of “acts injurious to public morals.”  Short Creek had become a religious enclave of renegade Mormons practicing tenets of the early church, including…” (Click HERE to continue reading the review; HERE for author Martha Bradley; HERE for purchasing information on the book.)