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Contingent CitizensShifting Perceptions of Latter-day Saints in American Political Culture$
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Spencer W. McBride, Brent M. Rogers, and Keith A. Erekson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501716737

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501716737.001.0001

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Mormons at Midcentury

Mormons at Midcentury

“Crushed Politically, Curtailed Economically,” but Winning “Universal Respect for Their Devotion and Achievements”

(p.193) Chapter 12 Mormons at Midcentury
Contingent Citizens
J. B. Haws
Cornell University Press

This chapter describes the American national mood in the middle of the twentieth century that made things feel so welcoming for Latter-day Saints. It highlights the golden era of Mormonism that happened between the end of World War II and the end of John F. Kennedy's presidency. It also talks about the era of the 1950s when Latter-day Saints may have felt that they were in step with the wider American culture. The chapter analyzes the press's treatment of Mormonism at mid-century that implies an underlying message that the matters of politics trumped matters of theology. It discusses American journalists that were writing about Mormons in 1947, which was the year that marked the centennial of the Latter-day Saints' epic trek west to their new Great Basin home.

Keywords:   national mood, Latter-day Saints, Mormonism, World War II, John F. Kennedy, theology, Great Basin

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