In part 1 of this multi-part interview, Dr. Richard Bushman, the world’s foremost scholar on Joseph Smith and early Mormonism and the author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, discusses his years as a Mormon historian–including his struggle with faith as a Harvard undergraduate, his decision to get a PhD in history, and his experiences with Leonard Arrington, Dialogue and Sunstone. He also discusses the role of candid, honest history within the modern LDS Church.
As a side note, I’m simultaneously elated and a tad bit ill about this interview. I’m elated that Dr. Bushman was willing to do an extended interview with me on Mormon Stories podcast, and that his commentary was so incredibly interesting. I’m ill because the audio quality is not as good as I’d have liked. Basically, Dr. Bushman has had a cold recently–and his voice was so low in the interview that I had to increase the volume to such an extent just to hear him, that there is a slight buzz in the interview. Anyway, what he said was so interesting to me that I had to publish it anyway. I hope you enjoy.