The Mormon Image in the American Mind: Fifty Years of Public Perception

Hardcover | November 27, 2013

byJ.B. Haws

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What do Americans really think about Mormons, and why? Through a fascinating survey of Mormon encounters with the media, including such personalities and events as the Osmonds, the Olympics, the Tabernacle Choir, Evangelical Christians, the Equal Rights Amendment, Sports Illustrated, and evenMiss America, J.B. Haws reveals the dramatic transformation of the American public's understanding of Mormons in the past half-century. When the Mormon George Romney, former governor of Michigan, ran for president in 1968, he was admired for his personal piety and characterized as "a kind of political Billy Graham." When George's son Mitt ran in 2008, a widely distributed email told hundreds of thousands of Christians that a votefor Mitt Romney was a vote for Satan. What had changed in the intervening four decades? Why were the theology of the Latter-day Saints and their "Christian" status mostly nonissues in 1968 but so hotly contested in 2008? For years, the American perception of Mormonism has been torn betweenadmiration for individual Mormons - seen as friendly, hard-working, and family-oriented - and ambivalence toward institutional Mormonism - allegedly secretive, authoritarian, and weird. The Mormon Image in the American Mind offers vital insight into the complex shifts in public perception of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its members, and its place in American society.

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What do Americans really think about Mormons, and why? Through a fascinating survey of Mormon encounters with the media, including such personalities and events as the Osmonds, the Olympics, the Tabernacle Choir, Evangelical Christians, the Equal Rights Amendment, Sports Illustrated, and evenMiss America, J.B. Haws reveals the dramatic...

J.B. Haws is an Assistant Professor in the Church History and Doctrine Department at Brigham Young University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:November 27, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199897646

ISBN - 13:9780199897643

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements1. Framing a Collage2. ''George W. Romney is ready and has the faith'': Mormonism in a Presidential Campaign Season3. Church Rites vs. Civil Rights4. The Politics of Family Values: 1972-19815. Familiar Spirits, Part One: The Early Eighties6. Familiar Spirits, Part Two: The Eighties and Early Nineties7. Standing a Little Taller: 1995-20058. Familiar Faces: Mormons and American Popular Culture in a New Millennium9. Suspicions-and Surprises: The 2008 Campaign Season10. ''Don't Think This Is Really a Moment'': Proposition 8, Broadway Plays, Presidential Campaigns Part Two - and ParadoxesBibliography