Modern Polygamy in the United States ─ Historical, Cultural, and Legal Issues
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Though many people around the world are oblivious to it, polygamy continues to be practiced in the United States. The state of Texas drew worldwide attention in 2008, as federal agents surrounded the compound of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) and took custody of more than 400 children. Several members of the schismatic religious group, whose women attire themselves in old-fashioned "prairie dresses," admitted that they practice polygamy. The state justified the raid by alleging that underage marriage was being forced on young women; however, a year later, all but one of the children had been returned to their parents and only ten men were charged with crimes, some barely related to the original charges. This volume offers valuable insights into the history and culture of the many people, including members of the FLDS, who lead polygamous lives in the United States in the twenty-first century.

"This well-balanced collection by historians, social scientists, and legal scholars, most of them established experts, provides a comprehensive treatment of the FLDS and other contemporary polygamous cultures in North America. The authors examine religious and other rationales for this way of life that are offered by both male and female participants, and present candid critiques both of the polygamous communities and of their antagonists in law enforcement and in the mass media."---Armand L. Mauss, author of The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle with Assimilation

"At last some light, not just heat, about America's new polygamy scandal, its roots and ramifications. Both well reasoned and well written, this book shows the people and the principles at stake. It will change how you think about both."---Kathleen Flake, Associate Professor of American Religious History, Vanderbilt University
Cardell K. Jacobson is a Karl G. Maeser General Education Professor and Professor of Sociology at Brigham Young University, where he teaches and researches social psychology, race and ethnic relations, and the sociology of religion. He is the author or editor of several books and professional articles.
Lara Burton earned an MFA in English in 2009 from Brigham Young University, where she is an adjunct faculty member in the English Department. She has authored five published essays and was the National First Place Winner in the 2009 Iron Horse Literary Review Discovered Voices contest. She is an eighth-generation Mormon.