“Christopher Blythe has written an essential guide for understanding the religious culture of Mormonism. Terrible Revolution takes readers from early expectations of an imminent Second Coming, to the White Horse Prophecy, to contemporary preppers. An essential text.” –John G. Turner, author of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet and Mormon Jesus
“Mormonism emerged out of an American religious landscape steeped in the vibrant imagery of what scholars have called ‘catastrophic millennialism.’ Latter-day Saint prophets and lay visionaries have woven their own apocalyptic narratives about their church’s pivotal role in the destiny of the United States. In this illuminating study, Christopher Blythe spins a masterful narrative that combines an impressive breadth of sources, official and popular, to tell a story still unfolding in the 21st century.” –Terryl Givens, author of Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought
"Joseph Smith, Jr and his early followers believed that the Savior commissioned them to prepare for the last days and His second coming. Like the early Christians after Christ's death, these members of what became The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looked for that coming in their lifetimes. Chris Blythe explains how that focus impacted church leaders and members through Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Utah. These stories, especially Joseph and Hyrum Smith's death, are familiar stories, but Blythe provides new insights by telling them through apocalyptic lens. This background is essential to understand the downplaying of visions about the last days by church leaders during the Americanization period of the twentieth century. It is even more telling to understand the "preppers" in the twenty-first century who continue to prepare for the Terrible Revolution. Blythe's book uses a variety of primary and secondary sources by church leaders and lay members. Adding the visions of the laity provides a new never seen perceptive. The well written, non-bias prose helped me understand the visions and viewpoints of individuals like Chad Daybell who are in the news today. A must read." - Jessie Embry, Author of Black Saints in a White Church and Mormon Polygamous Families
"Christopher Blythe does good work with Terrible Revolution. I appreciate his feats of archival strength, with wide swaths of genre and source represented. He skillfully narrates, analyzes and contextualizes bits and pieces of the past that can seem at once absolutely peculiar, while also serving as the pedestrian grist of our shared humor. If the US constitution does end out hanging by a thread, even if only in the imaginations of the conspiratorially inclined, Christopher is the one mighty and strong, who set in order and explained what the crap everyone is so excited about." - Jonathan Stapley, Author of The Power of Godliness
"Absolutely none of this is part of my direct experience, and I didn't think it was possible for Christopher Blythe to put together a whole book on Mormon apocalypticism ... until I read his book and realized it was all around me all along, unrecognized, because it is NOT any part of my immediate religious life. Fascinating book." - Ardis Parshall, Author of Song of Names: A Mormon Mosaic and blogger at keepapitchinin.org.