Cover image for In Mormon circles : gentiles, Jack Mormons, and Latter-Day Saints
In Mormon circles : gentiles, Jack Mormons, and Latter-Day Saints
Coates, James, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., [1991]

Physical Description:
xvi, 235 pages ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1530 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX8635.2 .C63 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BX8635.2 .C63 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Coates (Chicago Tribune reporter out of Denver) presents a thorough outsider's survey of the LDS church with sympathy (and censure where deserved). Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

For those who have always wondered what really goes on in Mormon temples, Coates has written a book that tells about not only secret rituals but also the political and social influence Mormons wield in American society. Writing as an outsider, though with a deep appreciation of the Latter-day Saints, Coates traces the history of the sect and the various controversies surrounding it, including the issues of polygamy, blood atonement, and fundamentalism. Furthermore, he details the campaign of some ex-Mormons to discredit the church. Finally, he gives readers a glimpse of the tremendous inroads into politics and business that Mormons have made, inferring that their missionary zeal has influenced more than one political decision. A fascinating look at the interface between religion and culture. Extensive bibliography. ~--Mary Deeley

Publisher's Weekly Review

A friendly observer of the Mormon way of life here examines the enigma of ``faith promoting'' activities that govern the lives of Latter-day Saints. Coates, the Chicago Tribune 's Rocky Mountain bureau chief, who grew up as an outsider in a Mormon community in Denver, professes his admiration for Mormonism's clean-scrubbed facade. As a journalist, however, he is acquainted with the troubles that beset their community--killings related to the controversial practices of polygamy and ``blood atonement,'' confrontations with police and other media events that puzzle non-Mormons, whom the LDS identify as ``Gentiles.'' America's fastest-growing religion, increasing in political power and influence, is examined from many aspects--its history and tenets, its internal conflicts between fundamentalists and mainstream Saints, etc.--in this absorbing, informative report. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Books about Mormons tend to be either hostile or cloying--few are dispassionate. Coates, an investigative reporter for The Chicago Tribune , is clearly seeking his scoop, but his tone betrays a hostility that suggests a hidden agenda. Unfortunately, he does not spell out his biases (which, after all, may be legitimate) as he tells the history of the Mormon church and assesses its current situation. In fact, while at times it appears that he wants the reader to be surprised by what he has found, mostly what he has found is common knowledge. Libraries will still find Robert Gottleib and Peter Wiley's America's Saints (HBJ, 1986) to be the definitive (and more interesting) account of the contemporary Mormon world.-- David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introduction Historical Circlesp. 1
Chapter 1 Joseph and the Gentilesp. 7
Chapter 2 From Missouri to Martyrdomp. 28
Chapter 3 Brigham Young and the New Zionp. 51
Chapter 4 The Tenets of Zionp. 77
Chapter 5 One Temple Squarep. 105
Chapter 6 The Sisterhoodp. 121
Chapter 7 Missionary Mormonsp. 135
Chapter 8 Fundamentalists and Survivalistsp. 152
Chapter 9 Polygamistsp. 175
Chapter 10 Friendly Foes and Mormon Hatersp. 198
Afterwordp. 216
Bibliographyp. 221
Indexp. 228