In March Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction will be published as a part of Oxford’s A Very Short Introduction series. For those unfamiliar with the series, Oxford has put out over 300 titles written by “experts” in particular fields (the volume on Kant by Roger Scruton from the University of London, for instance is a fantastically accessible introduction). They are brief (around 100 pages 4×6 inches), and meant for the non-specialist.
Richard Bushman is the author of the volume on Mormonism. While it certainly won’t find the same use as the introductions by Shipps , Eliason , or Davies , one cannot but wonder what attention it will draw and where it will have its impact. I think the market for it is more akin to the Dummies series in which Riess has done the piece on Mormonism, which means it might not find its way into college classrooms, but may make it into the hands of those looking to know more about Mormonism than simply reading what they can find online (although Oxford’s introduction series tends to be written by some of the larger figures in the field).
What are your thoughts about Bushman’s Introduction? Which introductions have you been recommending? And would you consider recommending Bushman’s introduction instead, given its genre and the situations you find yourself recommending books on Mormonism.