Utah Historical Quarterly 77:4 (Fall 2009)

By October 14, 2009

The latest UHQ came recently. There’s not a lot of overtly Mormon content, but most of the articles do look interesting. From the “In This Issue” section:

Authorization by Congress in 1955 of the Colorado River Storage Project included a provision requiring protective measures to keep impounded waters from harming Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Our first article [Hank Hassell, “The Battle for Rainbow Bridge”] discusses the four sites considered feasible for construction of a structure to block waters from Lake Powell from reaching the boundaries of the monument after completion of Glen Canyon Dam. But as the waters of Lake Powell inundated one site after another eliminating the feasibility of building the protective structures, and as the lake waters extended under the world famous bridge, the fight to protect Rainbow Bridge returned to the halls of Congress and reached all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

…Our second article [Brandon Johnson, “To Lay Bare All of Spiritualism’s Shams: Harry Waite and Oscar Eliason’s Anti-Medium Crusade] examines the confict between Harry Waite and Oscar Eliason in Salt Lake City during the 1890s and in doing so reveals much about the world of magic and the nuances and peculiarities of mystics, their practices, and beliefs…Our Third article [Val Holley, “Showdown at Geddes Gulch: How Prior Appropriation Ambushed Weber County”] delves into the complex world of irrigation and allocation of water and the systems that Utahns implemented to manage them. Nineteenth-century Utahns expended as much energy and time in building and maintaining a viable irrigation system as they did in planting, tending, and harvesting their crops. In addition, as the showdown at Geddes Gulch suggests, political and legal battles were never far from the Utah farmer and his crops.

Our final article for 2009 [Laurence M. Yorgason, “All Too Rare: The Rise and Fall of Jazz DJs on Utah AM Radio, 1945-1965”] takes us from the realm of conflict and disharmony to a world of tranquility and ease found in jazz presented by the Utah DJs who were dedicated to providing an original American musical genre to radio listeners in the post-World War II years. A century after pioneers arrived to establish their homes in the valleys of Utah, much had changed. This change is nowhere more apparent than in the acceptance and popularity of jazz music.

Book Reviews

Robert Briggs reviews Will Bagley and David Bigler’s Innocent Blood: Essential Anarratives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. He calls the volume an “important collection” that functions basically as a follow up to Bagley’s Blood of the Prophets. The JI will have its own review of this volume shortly.

Edward Geary reviews William B. Smart’s Mormonism’s Last Colonizer: The Life and Times of William H. Smart. Though a descendant, William B. presents a critical and well researched look at his ancestor thanks to a wealth of documents, including William H.’s voluminous journals which are included with the book in typescript form on a CD.

Frederick Quinn reviews Bernice Mooney and J. Terrence Fitzgerald’s Salt of the Earth: The History of the Catholic Church in Utah: 1776-2007.

Matthew T. Seddon reviews Don Fowler’s The Great Basin: People and Place in Ancient Times.

Daniel Davis reviews Donna Ernest’s The Sundance Kid: The Life of Harry Alonzo Longabaugh.

Robert McPherson reviews Kevin Adams’ Class and Race in the Frontier Army: Military Life in the West, 1870-1890.

Melissa Coy Ferguson reviews Andrea G. Radke-Moss’ Bright Epoch: Women & Coeducation in the American West.

James Swensen reviews William H. Goetzmann adn William N. Goetzmann The West of the Imagination.


Coming Soon: Summary of the latest John Whitmer Historical Association Journal.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Brandon Johnson, it should be noted, is a occasional JI reader and until recently, ran the Beehive Archive blog, a fantastic source for Utah history.

    Comment by Christopher — October 14, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  2. And thanks, Jared, for the roundup.

    Comment by Christopher — October 14, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  3. That Johnson article sounds like a winner. Thanks again Jared for your work on these summaries.

    Comment by SC Taysom — October 14, 2009 @ 9:15 pm

  4. Thanks guys. Indeed, Johnson’s is one that I did get to, and it was definitely a good read.

    Comment by Jared T — October 14, 2009 @ 9:36 pm

  5. You are a documentation machine, Jared. Thanks.

    Comment by matt b — October 14, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

  6. 🙂 Thanks, Matt.

    Comment by Jared T — October 14, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

  7. Thanks, Jared. Can you tell me more about the review of the Radke-Moss book? How much does she deal with Mormons?

    Comment by David G. — October 14, 2009 @ 11:43 pm

  8. David, the review isn’t that detailed. It doesn’t mention anything about Mormons. Though I understand this book is cutting edge.

    Comment by Jared T — October 15, 2009 @ 12:14 am

  9. Based on the book’s description at the U of N Press website, it looks like the book includes 4 case studies, one of which is Utah State Agricultural College, so I’d imagine Mormonism would pop up there.

    Comment by Christopher — October 15, 2009 @ 9:49 am

  10. Thanks, Jared and Chris. I took a class from her as an undergrad at BYU, when she was still Prof. Radke. I’m glad to see the book is doing so well.

    Comment by David G. — October 15, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  11. Thanks, Jared.

    Comment by Ben — October 15, 2009 @ 10:06 am

  12. Radke-Moss is awesome.

    On a different note: My dad subscribes to UHQ and I read through it when we sleep over at my parents. How are such journals viewed by academic historians? Not trying to be snobby, just curious.

    Comment by Chris H. — October 15, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

  13. Chris H., good question. UHQ is the official journal of the state’s historical society. Most, if not all, state societies publish their own journals. Although the quality of the submissions to such journals probably varies, with a mixture of academics and amateurs, for the most part these journals are seen as being academic. I know several Mormon historians in academic positions that have published on Utah topics in the UHQ and those articles go on the vita like everything else. Clearly, UHQ is not in the same category as say the Western Historical Quarterly or the Pacific Historical Review, but it’s still respectable.

    Comment by David G. — October 15, 2009 @ 12:31 pm


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