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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: August 10, 2017 01:08AM

"The Mormon Hierarchy: Wealth and Corporate Power"

By D. Michael Quinn (Signature Books, 2017), 800 pp.

"Early in the twentieth century, it was possible for Latter-day Saints to have lifelong associations with businesses managed by their leaders or owned and controlled by the church itself. For example, one could purchase engagement rings from Daynes Jewelry, honeymoon at the Hotel Utah, and venture off on the Union Pacific Railroad, all partially owned and run by church apostles.

"Families could buy clothes at Knight Woolen Mills. The husband might work at Big Indian Copper or Bullion-Beck, Gold Chain, or Iron King mining companies. The wife could shop at Utah Cereal Food and buy sugar supplied by Amalgamated or U and I Sugar, beef from Nevada Land and Livestock, and vegetables from the Growers Market. They might take their groceries home in parcels from Utah Bag Co. They probably read the Deseret News at home under a lamp plugged into a Utah Power and Light circuit. They could take out a loan from Zion's Co-operative and insurance from Utah Home and Fire.

"The apostles had a long history of community involvement in financial enterprises to the benefit of the general membership and their own economic advantage. This volume is the result of the author's years of research into LDS financial dominance from 1830 to 2010."

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2017 01:19AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: August 10, 2017 01:11AM

Thanks for that excerpt, Steve.

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Posted by: William Law ( )
Date: August 10, 2017 02:32AM

Wow. Can't wait to read it.

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Posted by: rt ( )
Date: August 10, 2017 08:21AM

That sounds remarkably like an excerpt from part one or two of the series (can't remember which, too lazy to look up).

Anyhow, I am done buying books about Mormonism. There is just one four-inch space I left open under "Q" in my bookcase and this will be the book that fills it - if it ever hits the shelves.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: August 10, 2017 02:22PM

I'll wait for you guys to link to a another review that has all the juicy stuff in it. Or maybe a podcast from JD in the near future.

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Posted by: Cody ( )
Date: October 11, 2017 09:16PM

Mormon Stories interview scheduled for Mon 10/23, live at noon MST

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Posted by: memikeyounot ( )
Date: August 10, 2017 04:38PM

Gee, I wonder what makes a "used" one worth $4000? Since it hasn't been released yet, how does that happen?

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: October 12, 2017 01:39PM

Since used ones don't exist, they're so rare as to be pricey? :)

Just bought the Kindle version. Will start to read it tonight.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: October 13, 2017 03:19AM

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Posted by: cheezus ( )
Date: October 12, 2017 01:00PM

I sold my soul to the corporate church store...

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Posted by: left4good ( )
Date: October 12, 2017 04:43PM


I generally give great reviews of books I read, but this one wasn't to me that great.

Maybe I was looking for more than there was there. It is chock full of historical data, property records, how much 19th century LDS leaders accrued in wealth, and so on. So if you're into that you will likely enjoy it.

What I was looking for was contemporary insight, hopefully juicy insight. Disappointingly I found very little.

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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: October 13, 2017 03:33AM

I once saw him present a paper where, without flair or spin, he recited fact after fact in chronological order, with virtually no commentary, and without taking a breath. After nearly two hours, he wasn't close to being done (he was still in the 19th century section). Finally, he was politely asked by the event hosts to wrap it up. It seemed like he had no sense of time and. if he did, he didn't seem to care. He was a dynamiting, disgorging and dispesning fact machine that grinds on until someone turns out the lights, At the risk of understating, he's the Kennecot copper mine of Mormon research.

That is not a criticism. Quinn's ultimate and astounding skill is in amassing important, often previously unknown data; providing copious and often redundant sourcing from myriads of researched mines; then connecting all the dots within well-categorized and tightly woven-together themes. He does it matter-of-factly and unspectacularly. Mike approaches the task with relentless, all-consuming determination that puts the "hyper" in the word "focus." He does it with the expectation that those paying attention to what he is saying will get it. After all, you wouldn't be there in the first place if you weren't into the details. If you don't get it, you can go to the back of his books. His footnotes speak volumes--literally.

If you've got the time, he's got the deer--in the headlights. He expects you to follow along and glean what you can. He's simply dishing up the goods, which speak for themselves.

Enjoy the meal. I recommend taking it in small bites if you're not used to huge banquets.

Edited 14 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2017 04:14AM by steve benson.

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