When my husband first suggested asking Richard to write the chapter on Joseph Smith's money digging activities, my reaction was a bit incredulous. "Yeah, right. Just write him an e-mail asking him to help me." "Yes, was his reply. If you want, I will send it."
To my delight, Richard agreed to write the chapter, and though he was in the midst of several other projects, he moved this one to the forefront.
Dr. Bushman's opening chapter reflects the deep wisdom he has acquired over decades of studying the life of Joseph Smith and Mormon history.
His research into nineteenth century Yankee culture adds the needed context to understand how the Smith family's money digging activities fit in with the prevailing culture.