One cannot do much Mormon history without encountering the nearly ubiquitous figure of Andrew Jenson. More a collector, compiler, and indexer of historical materials than an interpretive historian, his work is nevertheless the bedrock upon which rests so much of what we do. Never adequately appreciated in his own day, his work is too much taken for granted in ours. Fortunately he has at last attracted two very fine biographers, and their book will have a sure place in Mormon historiography.

If Andrew Jenson's life is not exactly a Horatio Alger story, it is nevertheless a tale of a penniless Danish immigrant to Brigham Young's Utah who slowly clawed and elbowed his way into a comfortable middle-class existence. And he did so, the authors are careful to emphasize, against a powerful tide of ethnic discrimination. The other Latter-day Saints appreciated the Danes’ tithes, but they disdained the people themselves. Accordingly,...

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