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A collection of RadioWest conversations about LDS history, faith, and culture.

The Mormon Struggle for Whiteness

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 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. (Rebroadcast)

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].