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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 14, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 12May00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Major Reviews of 'Latter Days' Generally Positive
Kent Larsen 12May00 A4

NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Major reviews of Coke Newell's book describing LDS Church history and beliefs, "Latter Days" have been generally positive, in contrast to a review in the industry publication Publisher's Weekly. Reviews in Booklist, Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, also widely looked at in the book industry as guides to purchasing, generally praised the book as an insider's look at Mormonism explained in a way that is accessible to outsiders.

Booklist calls "Latter Days" a "short but lively summary of a puzzling faith." The magazine says that many readers will come to libraries and search in bookstores for exactly what Newell has provided. "As one of those converts, Newell understands how to explain this distinctively American form of Christianity to the curious outsider," the Booklist review reads.

Library Journal agrees, saying that the book is a "complement to last year's more journalistic Mormon America." While noting that Newell, who manages media research for the LDS Church, wrote a "polemical piece that takes the truth claims of the religion at face value," it says that view should be expected. But Library Journal does say that "controversial topics are often briskly dismissed," and thinks Newell's viewpoint is a bit idiosyncratic, "Clearly, there are more ways to be Mormon than his."

Kirkus Reviews is even more positive than the others, calling the book a "Mormon primer that believers and nonbelievers alike will profit from." Noting that Newell has delivered "not just Mormon history, but Mormon cosmology, as well," Kirkus is particularly complementary of his attention to the leadership of Brigham Young, which it credits for the survival of Mormonism following the death of Joseph Smith, instead of fading away like so many other religions. Kirkus' only criticism is a desire that Newell include more information about contemporary Mormon life, and perhaps a less "sanctimonious and smug tone."


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See also:

Latter DaysMore about "Latter Days : A Guided Tour Through 6 Billion Years of Mormonism" at


Mormon AmericaMore about "Mormon America : The Power and the Promise " at

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information