Dale L. Morgan

Mormon and Western Histories in Transition

Richard L Saunders

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9781647691202 (hardback)
9781647691219 (paperback)
9781647691226 (ebook)

This is the first biography of Dale L. Morgan, preeminent Western historian of the fur trade, historic trails, and the Latter Day Saint movement. The book explores how, despite personal struggles, Morgan committed his life to tracking down sources and interpreting the past on the strength of documentary evidence. Connecting Morgan’s life with some of the broad cultural changes that shaped his experiences, this book engages with methodological shifts in the historical profession, the mid-twentieth-century collision of interpretations within Latter Day Saint history, and the development of a descriptive, scholarly approach to that history.
Morgan’s body of work and commitment to serious scholarship signaled the start of new ways of understanding, studying, and retelling history, and he motivated a generation of historians from the 1930s to the 1970s to transform their historical approaches. Sounding board, mentor, and close friend to Nels Anderson, Fawn Brodie, Juanita Brooks, Bernard DeVoto, Wallace Stegner, and Leonard Arrington, Dale Morgan is the common factor linking this influential generation of mid-twentieth-century historians of western America.