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Seeking the Promised Land
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Book description

Mormons have long had an outsized presence in American culture and politics, but they remain largely unknown to most Americans. Recent years have seen the political prominence of Mormons taken to a new level - including the presidential candidacy of Republican Mitt Romney, the prominent involvement of Mormons in the campaign for California's Proposition 8 (anti-gay marriage), and the ascendancy of Democrat Harry Reid to the position of Senate Majority Leader. This book provides the most thorough examination ever written of Mormons' place in the American political landscape - what Mormons are like politically and how non-Mormons respond to Mormon candidates. However, this is a book about more than Mormons. As a religious subculture in a pluralistic society, Mormons are a case study of how a religious group balances distinctiveness and assimilation - a question faced by all faiths.


'This is a superb work of social science.'

Russell Arben Fox Source: Perspectives on Politics

'The authors are veteran researchers who present their findings in clear, readable prose.'

Naomi Schaefer Riley Source: The Wall Street Journal

'This is a fascinating book about America’s most fascinating religion. It is bound to become the definitive treatment of Mormon political behavior in the United States.'

Alan Wolfe - Boston College

'This is a momentous piece of scholarship. Simply put, it establishes the research foundation for a fascinating and increasingly significant set of questions: who are the Mormons and how might they shape and be shaped by American politics? Timely, balanced, data rich, and narratively vivid - it is a must read for anyone interested in the civic dimensions of the LDS faith, as well as all those serious about understanding the dynamic interplay of religion and politics more generally.'

Matthew S. Holland - President, Utah Valley University

'What are Americans to make of the strong and visible presence of Mormons in our political midst? Campbell, Green, and Monson offer us a wealth of data and insight, from past and present, explaining this ‘peculiar people'. We see both how very American (and Republican) Latter-day Saints are and how very distinctive (and willing to dissent from the Party) they are at the same time. This is a timely and rich exploration of a significant sector of America’s diverse religious landscape.'

Nancy T. Ammerman - Boston University, author of Sacred Stories, Spiritual Tribes: Finding Religion in Everyday Life

'This volume is an intelligent and nuanced study that goes beyond the statistics to plumb the meaning of Mormon identity and its place in American politics. It brings fresh insight to the paradox of that most American of religions, one that still occupies a marginal place in the public square.'

Terryl Givens - author of Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought and People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture

'Using a creative mix of history, surveys, case studies, and even experiments, this book teaches us much about Mormon religious culture, Mormons’ political behavior, and the sometimes surprising connections between the two. Among other impressive accomplishments, the authors persuasively explain why Mormon political mobilization can be effective. Anyone who wants to better understand Mormons’ place in contemporary American politics should read this book.'

Mark Chaves - Duke University

'As the first work of political science analyzing Mormons, this book begins to correct a literature that has given far too little attention to one of the most remarkable and distinctive ethno-religious groups in American politics. The authors bring to bear sociology of religion, Mormon history and theology, public opinion polls, and experimental methods to illuminate Mormon political identity, behavior, and beliefs, as well as public attitudes toward Mormons. Accessible and interesting, this book has much to offer anyone seeking a better understanding of religion in American politics, both Mormon and non-Mormon.'

Frances E. Lee - University of Maryland

'Seeking the Promised Land could easily be read alongside historical and anthropological works on Mormonism as a mutually illuminating perspective. Campbell, Green, and Monson have crafted an argument accessible enough to be used by students across the humanities and social sciences, yet rigorous enough to be of interest to researchers hoping to understand both Mormonism and the nature of religious pluralism in general.'

Kyle David Byron Source: Nova Religio

'… indisputably the new starting point for all serious conversations about American Mormons and politics from here on out.'

Russell Arben Fox Source: Journal of Mormon History

'… a study of evolving Mormon political attitudes by the political scientists David E. Campbell, John C. Green, and J. Quin Monson, the authors note that most Utah Mormons initially agreed with the ERA’s statement of gender equality.'

Molly Worthen Source: Mormon Studies Review

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