November 3 @ 7 pm at the Grand County Public Library: Author and Historian Barbara Jones Brown in conversation about her new book Vengeance is Mine: The Mountain Meadows Massacre and its Aftermath


The long-awaited follow-up to the groundbreaking Massacre at Mountain Meadows

Published in 2008, Massacre at Mountain Meadows was a bombshell of a book, revealing the story of one of the grimmest episodes in Latter-day Saint history, when settlers in southwestern Utah slaughtered more than 100 members of a California-bound wagon train in 1857. In this much-anticipated sequel, Richard E. Turley Jr. and Barbara Jones Brown examine the aftermath of this atrocity.

Vengeance Is Mine documents southern Utah leaders’ attempts to cover up their crime by silencing witnesses and spreading lies. Investigations by both governmental and church bodies were stymied by stonewalling and political wrangling. While nine men were eventually indicted, five were captured and only one, John D. Lee, was executed.

The book examines the maneuvering of the defense and prosecution in Lee’s two trials, the second ending in Lee’s conviction. Turley and Brown explore the fraught relationship between Lee and church president Brigham Young, and assess what role, if any, Young played in the cover-up. And they trace the fates of the other perpetrators, including the harrowing end of Nephi Johnson, who screamed “Blood! Blood! Blood!” in his delirium as he was dying, more than sixty years after the massacre.

Turley and Brown also tell the story of the massacre’s few survivors: seventeen children who witnessed the slaughter and eventually returned to Arkansas, where the ill-fated wagon train originated.

Vengeance Is Mine brings the hitherto untold story of this shameful episode in Mormon and Utah history to its dramatic conclusion.

Richard E. Turley Jr. was a long-time historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a co-author of Massacre at Mountain Meadows. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Award and the Historic Preservation Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Turley also represented relatives of the Mountain Meadows Massacre victims in their successful petition of the federal government to grant National Historic Landmark status for the atrocity site.

Barbara Jones Brown is the director of Signature Books Publishing and former executive director of the Mormon History Association. She also provided content editing for Massacre at Mountain Meadows. She holds an M.A. in American history from the University of Utah and a B.A. in journalism and English from Brigham Young University. While researching her genealogy after beginning work on Vengeance Is Mine, Brown discovered that, like the earlier Mountain Meadows Massacre historian, Juanita Brooks, she is a direct descendant of one of its perpetrators.


Here's another epic find from our spectacular rare department!

The Earth First! Reader: Ten Years of Radical Environmentalism
By John Davis [Ed.]

Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith, 1991. Softcover. 8vo; 272 pp. Publisher’s presentation copy. Stated first edition with full number line on copyright page. Signed by Earth First! Co-founder Ron Kezar at the start of his contribution on page 50. Kezar also wrote “Leon Czolgosz,” which is the pen name he used for this particular piece instead of his usual “Bill Haywood.” Illustrated red and tan wrappers with black lettering on spine. Small tear to head of spine; minor wear to edges and joints; spine is slightly faded. Perfect binding is tight. Interior is clean. Sticker about the binding is affixed to inside of front wrapper. Includes a foreword by Dave Foreman, another co-founder of Earth First! Three items are laid in: 1) a presentation TLS from Madge Baird, editorial director of Gibbs Smith, to Kezar; 2) a postcard invitation to Edward Abbey’s memorial service, addressed to Kezar from Clarke Abbey; 3) a business card-sized announcement for an Edward Abbey reading in Prescott, Arizona in April 1988.

This book collects environmental essays from ten years of the Earth First! Journal. It features the work of over 40 writers, notably Edward Abbey, Joanna Macy, Gary Nabhan, Doug Peacock, and Gary Snyder.

EF-025036 $200

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This weeks staff pick is brought to you by Julia Buckwalter!! 

 I'm delighted to share a new dazzling work of poetry with you, Instructions for Traveling West by Joy Sullivan. Imagine an alternative universe wherein Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver share a daughter, whose godfather was Jim Harrison. He tells her stories about mountains while she grows up playing next-door with Rupi Kaur, eventually writing her thesis on Women Who Run With the Wolves. And here you have a new modern classic! 135 poems are divided into six parts, plus an interlude:
I: Realize You're Homesick
II: Come Apart
III: Commit to the Road
Interlude: Westward, A Woman Walks
IV: Reacquaint Yourself With Desire
V: Give Grief Her Own Lullabye
VI: Remind Yourself, Joy Is Not a Trick
At approximately half a page in length each, these poems are bite-sized chunks of heart, heat, wonder and story that will both unseat and settle the soul, setting it aloft like a cloud that will fill up with meaningful rain during its journey.  Sullivan speaks of love and longing with the same care and attention as she does tomatoes and mountains, her capable eyes drawing meaning and richness from everyday living.  Her poems are expressed with the urgency of amazement, yet contain the Taoist balance of knowing while not knowing - everything I feel the above-mentioned poets and possible influences succeed in.  This book is a long, delicious drink of living words... I especially enjoyed the poems that evolved the story of Eve in the Garden of Eden. I read hungrily but found myself pausing to savor, sometimes saying out loud, "Wow." I highly recommend it!
Excerpt from Giving Notice: "Do what you should have done years ago. Let your body out to pasture. Fill your calendar with nothing but sky. Surrender to the woods. To cicadas and sap beetles. To the moths, the color of memory and dream. Wear dusk like an ancient cloak. Hurry--"

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