A stupendous book, utterly different from anything else Vardis Fisher has written, -- a fictionized history of the Mormon Church, from its inception in the visions of the young Joseph Smith to the departure of the leaders from Salt Lake City in 1890. Here is a movement, the proportions and importance of which the modern generation does not recognize, which shook the foundations of the nation during several administrations. Fisher has told the story with the sweep and power and sense of drama of which he has shown himself capable in small compass before. He has drawn the figure of the prophet Joseph Smith, with his deep spiritual sense and his strange mixture of passion, ambition, egocentricity. He has given Brigham Young in all his stature, a man of amazing mental powers, of organizing ability, of understanding -- and yet a man who was emotionally cold, spiritually objective and imitative. Into the story of the successive attempts at colonization, the treks which rival the Boer treks in the forces of nature which were overcome, the amazing achievements in establishing prosperous communities, in ""making the desert blossom like the rose,"" in proving the feasibility of a form of socialism, Vardis Fisher has given the story of men -- and women -- as human beings. He has succeeded in keeping himself detached from the implications of the story; he gives his readers many sides of the picture he strives to paint; and he tells a grand story, a facet of American history in the making which has seldom been rivalled. It is overlong, perhaps, but good reading throughout. An important book, which should achieve wide sales, though the subject matter may prove an initial hurdle. Just announced as Harper Prize Novel for 1939.