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The Mormon Struggle for Whiteness

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A political cartoon by C. J. Rudd entitled, "Mormon Elder Berry--out with his six year olds, who take after their mothers" (1904).

Monday, we're joined by University of Utah professor Paul Reeve to talk about his latest book, Religion of a Different Color. In it, he explores how America's Protestant white majority characterized Mormons as racial outsiders in the 19th century. Protestants were convinced that members of the country's newest religion were not merely a theological departure from the mainstream, they were racially and physically different. Medical doctors even supported the claim. Reeve says the LDS church responded to those attacks with aspirations for whiteness that may have been a little too successful.

W. Paul Reeve is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Utah. He is the author of several books, including Making Space on the Western Frontier, and Between Pulpit and Pew. His latest book is called Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness [Amazon|Indiebound].

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.