45 years ago today - Aug 30, 1974-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]
We had day before yesterday a nice talk with Merlo Pusey, who was here with his son David. He said that he had done a history of George A. Smith, John Henry Smith, and George Albert Smith, which was completed except for tying up a few loose ends. He had submitted the manuscript to Peregrine Smith. They had read it (Davis said he read it) and had accepted it for publication. I got the impression that he had submitted it earlier to Bookcraft or Deseret Book and it had been turned down as being too controversial; that is to say, he mentioned a few things which were not 100 percent favorable to the Smiths and the Church. Davis said that there was nothing wrong with the manuscript-really no problems. The tone throughout was favorable and friendly and the so-called controversial portions were mentions of relatively minor problems. The book is based upon original journals of the three persons. Merlo said that the [Reed] Smoot book had been held up because he refused to eliminate the diary entries which related to the criminality of his son, but he said he thought the book still might appear soon since all of those who felt keenly on this matter had now died. He said he could not avoid mentioning this nor was it libelous nor did it mention anything that had not been widely published in newspapers or magazines. ...

Over the past several weeks I have had telephone calls from John Reed, an employee from Hill Air Force Base, a non-Mormon who says he is planning to do an article for an eastern concern about the Mormons. I have tried to be very careful, cagey, and cautious in my remarks to him and have no evidence that he is taping my conversations, but hope everything will turn out all right. I have tried to be friendly and helpful without giving him anything that would later prove to be embarrassing to myself or the department. ...

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

No comments:

Post a Comment