In part 2 of this multi-part interview with Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, we tackle 4 main topics. First, brother Bushman provides a high level review of the major Joseph Smith biographies that preceded Rough Stone Rolling, including Fawn Brodie’s “No man knows my history.” Next, brother Bushman discusses the art of writing history, and the challenges involved in trying to arrive at “the facts” and “the truth” for both historians, and readers of history. Finally, we discuss in depth the first 2 of our top 10 tough Joseph Smith issues: 1) The multiple and somewhat varying accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision story, and 2) Joseph Smith’s involvement in folk magic and treasure digging.
The slight audio “buzz” from the previous interview continues on this one, with an additional static sound that lasts for about 2 minutes at the beginning of the interview. Please bear with us–things will get better again (hopefully) now that Dr. Bushman is feeling better.