The writing of history does not occur in a vacuum. The scholarship that went before set the stage for the debates of the present. This is particularly evident as one studies the historiography of Joseph Smith's First Vision. Toward the middle of the twentieth century, Latter-day Saint historians came to understand that they could use research from scholars with opposing viewpoints as a catalyst to propel their own work forward and strive for a more accurate depiction of the past. This disciplinary shift influenced Mormon historical studies of the First Vision.
This is the most fascinating book on the First Vision of the prophet Joseph Smith I have ever read. It takes concerns and criticisms that have come up over the years, and lays them to rest with fine scholarship and research. I have truly enjoyed this book - and will make it part of my permanent research library. JRD