by Edward J. Blum
For those of you still living in the present, I know this is a hard and confusing time. Reports of President Obama as a Muslim, debates over Ground Zero, and the start of the semester can trouble our souls. Perhaps you need an intellectual refuge. If you do, grab the current edition of the Journal of Southern History and read Patrick Q. Mason’s fantastic article on anti-Mormonism in the South <“Opposition to Polygamy in the Postbellum South,” Journal of Southern History 76, no. 3 (August 2010): 541-578)>. It’s a terrific study of how white southerners rallied against polygamy from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the twentieth century. Sure, it’s not a fun story (it involves murder and mayhem just like most aspects of American history), but the essay offers a lot to think about from the past.