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"Far more than a mere military history of conflict and response, the author traces the actors and their immediate antecedents as well. He explores their motivations and goals, and he ties together dozens of threads coherently. . . . Those interested in the story of American expansion or in intricacies of overland travel before the railroad will find the book tremendously interesting. The Utah War allowed the U.S. Army to solidify its knowledge of the continent's geophysical heart, making possible and necessary both the formal exploration of the West and establishing a federal presence in military forts. Because of the book's amazing scope--including every level of the action from local nobodies to international geopolitics--At Sword's Point has changed the field on which study of the time is made. The historical study of Utah, the overland West, and of the United States' riven political scene during the 1850s will never be the same."--Richard Saunders, in Overland Journal "This monumental work reflects a half-century of far-reaching research by the acknowledged expert on the Utah War. William P. MacKinnon's wealth of knowledge is exhibited in the relevant choice of documents and lively commentary provided in Parts 1 and 2. Highly recommended."--Richard E. Turley Jr., coauthor of Massacre at Mountain Meadows