Massacre at Mountain Meadows

  • by Ronald W Walker, Richard E Turley, Glen M Leonard
  • Narrated by Bill Dewees
  • 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On September 11, 1857, a band of Mormon militia, under a flag of truce, lured unarmed members of a party of emigrants from their fortified encampment and, with their Paiute allies, killed them. More than 120 men, women, and children perished in the slaughter.
Massacre at Mountain Meadows offers the most thoroughly researched account of the massacre ever written. Drawn from documents previously not available to scholars and a careful re-reading of traditional sources, this gripping narrative offers fascinating new insight into why Mormons settlers in isolated southern Utah deceived the emigrant party with a promise of safety and then killed the adults and all but seventeen of the youngest children. The book sheds light on factors contributing to the tragic event, including the war hysteria that overcame the Mormons after President James Buchanan dispatched federal troops to Utah Territory to put down a supposed rebellion, the suspicion and conflicts that polarized the perpetrators and victims, and the reminders of attacks on Mormons in earlier settlements in Missouri and Illinois. It also analyzes the influence of Brigham Young's rhetoric and military strategy during the infamous "Utah War" and the role of local Mormon militia leaders in enticing Paiute Indians to join in the attack. Throughout the book, the authors paint finely drawn portraits of the key players in the drama, their backgrounds, personalities, and roles in the unfolding story of misunderstanding, misinformation, indecision, and personal vendettas.
The Mountain Meadows Massacre stands as one of the darkest events in Mormon history. Neither a whitewash nor an expose, Massacre at Mountain Meadows provides the clearest and most accurate account of a key event in American religious history.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Slow to get started - not fully balanced.

I was a bit nervous when the authors "confessed" they relied on the church for much of thier research. At least the first 3/4 of the book a felt a bit like I was being manipulated, but when the bad things start happening the authors do not try to pull punches. I agree with thier thesis about the event, but I do think they tried a bit hard to not point the finger at the church - no possiable justification for the actions is too small to be discussed (often repeatedly) and no proof of the dissappointment of church leaders int he action is to small to discuss. The pacing is VERY slow for much of the book with lots of degressions and information of little importance.
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- Chris

I should have read the other reviews first.

At least I got this on sale. This book was incredibly tedious and monotonous. Unlike other books on historical events, the authors seemed to make almost no attempt to make us care about the individuals involved. Contrast this book with "Desperate Passage", for example, which was about the events surrounding the Donner Party. In "Desperate Passage", we receive a lot of background on the individuals involved--why they moved West, who was in their family, what their personalities were like, etc. So when we got to the main drama of the story, we were fascinated by what happened to the characters we had come to invest in. In "Massacre at Mountain Meadows", we are given almost no reason to care about either the perpetrators or the victims of the massacre--although I do agree with the other review that says we are given more reasons to care about the perpetrators.

I will admit that I only listened to 3/4 of this book before giving up. I rarely give up before the end. But after multiple times of falling asleep in the second half and then going back to try to find my place, I finally realized that I had no obligation to torture myself any longer. If you enjoy reading history textbooks for fun, you might get something out of this dry recitation of times and places. If you prefer tales of history that bring the story alive, try "Desperate Passage" instead.
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- Reserved Powers "Mom, birdwatcher, and online teacher"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-24-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios