Mormon Country (Second Edition)
Publication Date: September 2003
Where others saw only sage, a salt lake, and a great desert, the Mormons saw their “lovely Deseret,” a land of lilacs, honeycombs, poplars, and fruit trees. Unwelcome in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, they migrated to the dry lands between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada to establish Mormon country, a wasteland made green. Like the land the Mormons settled, their habits stood in stark contrast to the frenzied recklessness of the American West. Opposed to the often prodigal individualism of the West, Mormons lived in closely knit – some say ironclad – communities. The story of Mormon country is one of self-sacrifice and labor spent in the search for an ideal in the most forbidding territory of the American West. Richard W. Etulain provides a new introduction to this edition.
Wallace Stegner (1909–93) was one of America’s most distinguished novelists and essayists. His works include the Pulitzer Prize–winning Angle of Repose and The Spectator Bird, winner of the National Book Award. Richard W. Etulain is a professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico. He is the coauthor of The American West: A Twentieth-Century History (Nebraska 1989) and Stegner: Conversations on History and Literature.
“Stegner’s book makes excellent reading and is also solidly based. . . . His residence of fifteen years in the region he is describing allows him to mingle ease with authority.”—New York Times
“Stegner combines a great amount of information and lively comment with fine description of one of the most beautiful and least known regions of the United States.”—Boston Globe