Worlds of Discourse, Plates of Gold:
Joseph Smith’s Plates as Cultural Catalysts
|For six weeks in the summer of 2011, researchers convened at the Maxwell Institute to discuss the topic “The Cultural History of the Gold Plates.” The seminar was sponsored by the Mormon Scholars Foundation, hosted by the Maxwell Institute, and directed by Richard Bushman.The Summer Seminar Working Papers 2011 were presented at a BYU symposium on August 18, 2011. Working papers are unpublished, unedited, unpolished drafts. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the Maxwell Institute or BYU.|
“Worlds of Discourse, Plates of Gold: Joseph Smith’s Plates as Cultural Catalysts” By Stephen Taysom Presented at the Maxwell Institute Summer Seminar 18 August 2011 Provo, UtahIn about a week, I will step again into a classroom at Cleveland State University to begin teaching another semester of religious studies 101. And within a day or two of beginning the semester, and about once a week throughout the rest of the semester, a student will inevitably raise his or her hand to tell me that some belief or practice or ritual that I have just described “doesn’t make any sense.” My reply is always the same: “Of course it doesn’t make sense. This is a class about religion.” This is usually followed by a discussion about the tendency we all have to marginalize others and normalize ourselves, a tendency that is particularly evident when it comes to “religion.”
As a scholar of religion, and as a professor of religious studies at a public university, I am constantly looking for new ways to lend meaning and accessibility to events that, to my audience, are simply beyond belief. The task is not to lead my students to convert to every religion we study in class. But I do bear a responsibility for teaching my students how to engage with other religions and with their own religions—especially with things that “don’t make sense” in a way that will enrich both their intellectual and personal lives. The story of the angel and the plates is one of the top two or three champions of the “doesn’t make any sense” competition, and so I have relished the opportunity to explore that story, and those plates, over the course of the last six weeks. I have come away with what I think is a useful and powerful tool in dealing with these sorts of subjects. Using the gold plates as a case study, I am going to share my work with you this morning. In this paper, I consider the cultural narratives about the golden plates through an intellectual paradigm devised by a scholar of religion named of Robert Orsi. The things that my students call “things that don’t make sense,” Orsi calls “Abundant Events.” These abundant events, according to Orsi, “are characterized by aspects of the human imagination that cannot be completely accounted for by social and cultural codes, that go beyond authorized limits.”1 In practical language, abundant events are those things that our rational worldview labels “supernatural.”
Specifically the paper addresses two main points. First, that the gold plates and all of the attendant reactions to them constitute what Robert Orsi calls an “abundant event.” Second, I will explain why this is significant, with an emphasis on how the plates generated important cultural narratives that reveal, sometimes unintentionally, important cultural information about the worlds into which the plates “intruded.” I explore how the idea of the plates intrudes into American culture, reveals its cultural categories, and exerts change upon those categories.
We need to begin by examining the paradigm of abundant events that Orsi has set out for us. “One of the first things to say about an abundant event,” Orsi writes, “is that it serves as a focusing lens for the intricacies of relationships in a particular area at a particular time, [and provides] meaning for all the hopes, desires, and fears circulating among a group of people as these were taking shape at a certain place and at a certain time.”2 So, among other functions, abundant events illuminate the contours of culture. Orsi suggests that scholars ought to spend some time trying to figure out how an abundant event, as irrational as it might seem, “finds presence, existence, and power in space and time, how it becomes as real as guns and stones and bread, and then how the real in turn acts as an agent for itself in history.” This paper is an effort to do some of this with the gold plates.
Orsi’s interest in the idea of the “abundant event” is driven by his belief that the academic study of religion, by its very nature, distorts its subject and precludes itself from studying religion qua religion. Events with supernatural characteristics are often mistreated, reduced, and misrepresented by scholars who have only the linguistic tools of modernity at their disposal. Orsi argues that modern religious studies engage in a strange game of category bait and switch: scholars claim to study religion but we study everything but religion. We render the religious in the language of psychology, sociology, economic, critical theory, anthropology, political science, cognitive science, and so forth. This language is not sufficiently dimensioned to address “abundant events.” Orsi laments in the strongest language the inability of religious studies scholars’ “to make one’s own self-conceptions vulnerable to the radically destabilizing possibilities of a genuine encounter with an unfamiliar way of life.” 3
Specifically, Orsi generated a set of criteria that define the characteristics of an abundant event. Four Characteristics:
First, such events present themselves as sui generis: people experience them as singular, even if they are recognizable within cultural convention—for instance, even if a culture prepares us for an encounter with witches, when the encounter happens, it is considered out of the ordinary. Second, abundant events are real to those who experience them, who absolutely know them not to be dreams, hallucinations, delusions, or other kinds of sensory error, even though others around them may and often do contest this. Third, they arise and exist among people. They are intersubjective (although this intersubjectivity may include the dead, for instance, or saints). They arise at the intersection of past/present/future (as these really are or as they are dreaded or feared or hoped for). At the moment of such an event we have a new experience of the past while at the same time the horizon of the future is fundamentally altered.4
The first question we have to answer before we can proceed is whether or not the gold plates—their discovery, possession, translation, disappearance, etc—constitute an “abundant event” according to the criteria Orsi sets forth. Are the gold plates “sui generis” do they represent an out of the ordinary experience? Joseph Smith’s experience with the plates was recognized as out of the ordinary by both believers and unbelievers. People knew about ancient writing on metal plates and people knew about angels. But nobody knew about ancient angels delivering metal plates. Critics of Smith never argued that the experience was banal or derivative, except inasmuch as they attempted to tie the discovery of the plates to money digging culture (more on that later), and Smith and his supporters never attempted to lend credibility to their claims by arguing that angels delivered plates to people all the time except inasmuch as they nested the recovery of the plates to other miraculous (and, equally out of the ordinary) events in Jewish and Christian history.
Are the plates real to those who experience them? Here, Orsi is really trying to exclude those events that are understood by the original narrator of those events to be fraudulent. This is difficult to prove in all cases, and the case of the plates is no exception. Dan Vogel believes that Smith may have fabricated plates out of tin. If this is true, then Smith was obviously not convinced of the reality of the event and the plates would not be an abundant event, for him. But, even if the plates never existed, and Smith was making the entire story up, the stories themselves are, without doubt, creating events perceived to be real in the minds of many of those who hear or read them. In that case, the abundant event is located not in the experience of Smith with the plates, but in the story of the plates, or the hoax perpetrated on the witnesses if one follows Vogel’s reading of the sources—something they apparently believed to be real.
This discussion leads nicely into another of Orsi’s criteria for abundant events: “they arise and exist among people. They are intersubjective.” Orsi’s language is a bit obscure here, but he is arguing that abundant events have real world results. They motivate behavior. They change the world through actions of people who are motivated by them. Our presence at this conference is evidence enough that the plates fit this criterion. All of you woke up, traveled to this campus, and are sitting in these chairs because of the gold plates—whether you believe in them or not. And disbelief in the plates has never kept them from motivating people to action.
A man who lived near the Hill Cumorah remembered that soon after Smith claimed to have found the plates in the hill, “there was great excitement through the whole country,” excitement that led to expeditions to the hill.5 Consider the case of Lorenzo Saunders, a disbelieving neighbor of the Smith’s. On either the 23rd or 30th of September 1827, Saunders found himself on the hill Cumorah with “five or six others and we hunted the hill by course and could not find no place where the ground had been broke. There was a large hole where the money diggers had dug a year or two before, but no fresh dirt. There never was such a hole; there never was any plates taken out of that hill…It is a lie.”6 How does one account for Saunders’s presence on that hill? In my estimation, this provides evidence of the power of the idea of the plates to motivate actions even in those who do not believe plates ever existed at all.
Finally, Orsi argues that abundant events “arise at the intersection of past/present/future (as these really are or as they are dreaded or feared or hoped for).” At the moment of such an event we have a new experience of the past while at the same time the horizon of the future is fundamentally altered. “Abundant events are saturated by memory, desire, need, fear, terror, hope or denial, or some inchoate combination of these.” It seems to me that this is the most important of all of Orsi’s criteria and the one which lends itself best to the case of the gold plates. As such, it merits a fuller exploration than the criteria. In order to fully examine the proposition that the gold plates represent an abundant event, we have to look closely at the way narrative accounts about the plates, as they are put forth by both supporters of Smith and his detractors, reveal the worldviews of their authors. It may seem that we are leaving Orsi behind for a moment or two, but the wandering has a purpose.
It may be helpful at this point to nuance Orsi somewhat by introducing ideas that are consonant with his theorizing, but which broaden the scope. First, I would like to think a little about abundant events as “Frontier Events.” The “plates” emerge in a world of frontiers. We often speak of Joseph Smith as having lived on the “frontier.” This is taken to mean a geographical frontier, with all of the rough and tumble that such a life brings with it. There is no question that Joseph did live on such a frontier. But, he also lived on other frontiers. A frontier might be understood as a liminal space where the range of what philosopher William James called “live options” is radically expanded. James argued that one’s belief in the reality [the real-ness] of anything depended upon how “alive” the option was to the individual thinker. . In order to be “live” an idea or an option for behavior must appeal, at least to some minute degree, to what James calls a “tendency to act.” An option is “live” not because of any inherent quality of the option itself, but rather it comes to life and dies because of the particular cultural conditions 7 in which it is embedded. Nobody worships Osiris anymore, but Osiris hasn’t changed. That is a dead option because the world changed around Osiris.
So if the plates represent an abundant event, and a new live option, then it is crucial to understand the frontier world into which they “intruded.” It was a world of political frontiers. When Smith as born there had only been five Presidential elections three Presidents) with a new Constitution that carried within it the promise of a radical re-visioning of the relationship between government and the governed. The plates emerged in a world of economic frontiers. The failure of two national banks in Smith’s lifetime accompanied by a high level of national debt stemming from the War of 1812, combined with privately-issued back currency to produce an unstable world of inflation and speculation.
Perhaps most significantly, the plates emerged in a world of religious frontiers—something that historians call,” the “Second Great Awakening.” But it was much more than that. It was a constellation of religious revolutions driven by theological innovation and sectarian invention that forever shifted not only the denominational landscape, but the entire cultural shape of religion in America. It multiplied, exponentially, the number of “live” options available to Americans in the arena of religious choice. Mormonism, of course, emerged as part of this frontier. Even before the church was founded, however, the stories about Joseph Smith and his “golden bible” electrified the cultural frontiers of America. Abundant events are frontier events inasmuch as they suggest new live options for a culture. In other words, abundant events do not simply illuminate culture, they change it.
To really grasp the scope of this abundance—the degree to which the plates reveal world views and shape culture, we must look closely at the narratives generated by the plates. These narratives that center on the plates tell us much more about the worldview of the authors than those authors would have guessed. Unsurprisingly most, but not all, narratives generated by the plates come in the form of either pro or anti Mormon propaganda. Each body of narratives contains an implicit construction of the self and an explicit construction of the other. First, let’s consider the pro-Mormon narratives.
This narrative world takes as its mission solving the problem of chaos through the bundle of implications signified by the plates, including divine authority, chosenness, and knowing the will of God. Joseph Smith provides a window into this worldview in his 1839 draft of a history of the Church. According to that document, this community believed that it was opposed by a world characterized by “evil disposed and designing persons” from a variety of backgrounds and was dominated by the following cultural conditions. It was a world struggling in “darkness and confusion.” Religious chaos and contention stemmed from the “sophistry” and “reason” employed by the newly- dominant forms of American evangelical Christianity. In this world, the “seemingly good feelings of both priests and converts were more pretended than real.” In other words, this is a world of chaos and pretense. This was a world in which the disparate elements were bound together through hate, which then reified in the form of persecution. Smith wrote that, despite all of the diversity of religious opinion and the contention that such diversity engendered, “all [of the parties] united to persecute me.” 7 Possessing the plates rendered Joseph vulnerable to physical and even psychic attack (scryers looking for the plates). This was a dangerous world, and the plates seemed to make it more dangerous—at least temporarily. It was a world in which the devil seemed to hold great sway. The devil, too, targeted Smith and his followers and motivated those who opposed him.
What is interesting about this discourse community, however, is that it rejected all of the extant modes of thought and action when looking for a solution to the chaos. There is an irony here of course. Embedded in the invention of a new religious tradition founded on the idea of supernatural intrusion into banal reality was an effort to stabilize rather than revolutionize the world. Joseph Smith’s plates stood for these people as a concrete symbol of authority, of the voice of God who proclaimed a narrow road to heaven. This discourse community was looking to shut down live options, rather than to encourage them. Crucial to this project was the need to establish the plates as an instantiation of all the ideas and concepts that would save the world from pretense and chaos. It involved a recasting of the past as well as the future, especially the American past and future. In an 1835 account of the early history of the Church, Joseph Smith said that Moroni told him that the “Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham.”8 Orson Hyde made a similar statement in 1842, but his words reveal how the plates had implications for America’s future as well as its past: Moroni told Smith that “the American Indians were remnants of the House of Israel and they were an enlightened people when they left Jerusalem to emigrate to America, possessing the knowledge of the true God and enjoying his blessing and special favor. In the course of time, this nation fell into ungodliness and the greater part of them were exterminated; but…their records were deposited for protection into the earth’s bowel, in order to preserve them from the hands of the godless who sought to destroy them. ..He was told that these records contained many sacred revelations pertaining…to the events of the last days.”9
Many of the people that joined Joseph’s community felt that religious “authority” had been lost and they looked for its return. Although most Latter-day Saints are aware of these motifs, it is worth pointing out that they are based on a cultural assumption: namely the assumption that there is one right way of getting to heaven and anyone offering other options is effectively leading people to hell. This is not a community that is going to favor a plentitude of live options. It is not a community that is going to wish to perpetuate the frontier that gave birth to it. Consider the testimony of Martin Harris. Harris recalled that in 1818 he “was inspired of the Lord & tought of the spirit that I should not join eny church although I was anxiously sought for by meny of the sectarians. I was taught I could not walk together unless agreed.” Harris goes on to tell how he demanded both uniformity and rationality from the “sectarians” in their theological enterprise: if a principle wasn’t in the bible, than Harris rejected it. He notes especially that he found the doctrine of a disembodied, Trinitarian god repulsive and non-biblical. Harris finally concluded that “there was no authority for the Spirit told me that I might just as well plunge myself into the Water as to have any one of the sects baptize me.”10 Harris’s views are largely representative of many early converts to Mormonism. This was a world that had at its heart a paradox: chaos in the form of religious competition was a major threat that could only be neutralized by authority which, in turn, could only emerge in a world with an unusually high level of live options. But, as the Harris testimony makes clear, this was also a world in which coherence was important and “proof” mattered. Any claim to absolute authority in such an environment would naturally have to be solidly anchored to a reality that could be tested, even if the tests were rudimentary. It is no surprise, then, that for Harris and hundreds like him, it is the story of the plates that becomes the most persuasive live option. The plates become, in effect, the live option to end all live options for those who inhabit the discourse community established by Smith.
We need to turn now to a consideration of the other community of discourse, also focused on the plates, but which saw them as a dangerous hoax. Just as with documents that function as pro-Mormon propaganda, when viewed at the right angle, these texts provide a window into the worldview of their creators. And they provide tremendously strong evidence that the idea of the golden plates did in fact function as an abundant event.
This was a community that claimed to valued order, thrift, hard work, and honesty, and associated these traits with a middle-class sensibility. They generally adhered to evangelical Christian ideas, which were assumed to be rational, non-ritualized, private, and based on the Bible. Other religious expressions were marginalized through the use of a discourse of “superstition” and irrationality. They understood the progress of America to be linked with progress of Protestant Christianity to create and maintain cultural and religious order. They feared disorder, “superstition,” and “infidelity,” not only in religion but also in terms of economics and politics. They prized “authenticity” and despised “pretension.” The documents produced by this community of in response to the plates view Joseph Smith and his followers as living inversions of their cultural values. Symbolized by Smith, Mormons were viewed as ignorant, “superstitious,” lazy, and disordered. They kept their land in a “slovenly, half-way, profitless manner”11 ; spent time “idly lounging” around stores in the village.12 They were, in sum, an “Illiterate, whiskey-drinking, shiftless, irreligious race of people.”13 Furthermore, the Mormons were thought to be motivated by fear and greed and an effort to rise to a “higher sphere in the scale of human existence.”14 To become, in other words, counterfeit human beings. Joseph Smith “evidenced the rapid development of a thinking, plodding, evil-brewing mental composition—largely given to inventions of low cunning, schemes of mischief and deception, and false and mysterious pretensions.”15 Mormons were religiously perverse and spiritually shallow. Tucker argues that Smith quit attending Methodist classes because “his assumed convictions were insufficiently grounded or abiding to carry him along to the saving point of conversion.”16
Mormonism also threatened to drag civilization back to a dark age that the new American epoch was supposed to have eradicated forever. A famous letter to the Palmyra Reflector (tabloid sheet) from an anonymous correspondent, noted: “I observe by the public prints that this most clumsy of all impositions, known among us as Jo Smith’s ‘Gold Bible,” is beginning to excite curiosity from the novelty of its appearance.” This was a “singular business because it was 13hardly to be expected, that a mummery like the one in question, should have been gotten up at so late a period, and among a people, professing to be enlightened.” The author then argues that the entire episode can be explained by the “money digging mania …which eventuated in the discovery of Jo Smith’s “Golden Treasure.” 17 Another article in the Palmyra Reflector attempted to link Smith with other “impostors” from the past, especially those from what was believed to be the dangerous and foreign world of the East. “Jo Smith…can bear no comparison to the author of the Koran, and it is only in their ignorance and impudence that a parallel can be found.” 18
Most Significantly, Joseph Smith, and by implication the entire Mormon enterprise, was viewed as a fraud. The language of pretension and imposture course through the anti-Mormon documents of the period in an almost obsessive pattern. Consider the following sample of descriptions that employ the motif of fraud and fakery:
Joseph Smith’s delusions “persevered in and improved upon from time to time, culminated in 1827 by the great imposture of the pretended finding of ‘ancient metallic plates resembling gold,’ afterward translated into the ‘Golden Bible’ or Book of Mormon.”19
Joseph Smith, Sr., “would go to Turkey Shoots and get drunk; [he would] pretend to enchant their guns so that they could not kill the Turkey.”20
Joseph’s wife [Emma] was a pretty woman; as pretty as I ever saw. When she came to the Smiths she was disappointed and used to come to our house and sit down and cry. She said she was deceived and got into a hard place.”21
It is well known that Jo Smith never pretended to have any communion with angels, until a long period after the pretended finding of his book, and that the juggling of himself or father, went no further than the pretended faculty of seeing wonders in a ‘peep stone,’ and the occasional interview with the spirit, supposed to have the custody of hidden treasures; and it is equally well known, that a vagabond fortune-teller by the name of Walters…was the constant companion and bosom friend of these money digging impostors.”22
Six “leading citizens of Canandaigua, New York,” (Nathaniel W. Howell, Walter Hubbell, Ansel D. Eddy, Henry Chapin, Jared Willson, and Lewis Jenkins) wrote to Reverend Ancil Beach (a young Methodist minister in Indiana), January 1832 that: “Joseph smith has lived in and about Manchester for several years an idle and worthless fellow; previous to the Mormon project he had been engaged for some time in company with several others of the same character [Smith fails at money digging]—Joseph then pretended to have found a box, in digging in the woods, containing some gold plates with characters upon them which none but himself could decypher.”23
Jesse Townsend wrote to Phineas Stiles, on 24 December 1833 and claimed that “To avoid the sneers of those who had been deceived by Smith [in the money digging failures], he pretended that he had found, when digging alone, a wonderful curiosity, which he kept closely secreted. After telling different stories about it, and applying to it different names, he at length called it the golden plates of the Book of Mormon. As he was questioned on the subject from time to time, his story assumed a more uniform statement, the term finally given to the marvelous treasure being the ‘Golden Bible.’ In the meantime, Joseph visited a visionary fanatic 15 by the name of Martin Harris, and told him that he had received some gold plates of ancient records from the Lord, with a ‘revelation’ to call on him for fifty dollars to enable him to go to Pennsylvania and translate the contents of the plates.” Later in the letter, Townsend writes that Cowdery transcribed the Book of Mormon “as a pretended translation of the golden plates which he [Smith] affirmed he had been directed by the Spirit of the Lord to dig from the earth.”24
In these narratives, written in response to the story of the gold plates, the themes of fraud and fakery abound indicating a deep-seated fear shared by both Mormons and non-Mormons alike. For each group, the plates represented the focal point of the hopes and fears, the cause of problems and the solution to problems.
Orsi implies that Abundant Events are difficult to deal with. They occur at the point where language breaks down and they become difficult to describe. But in the case of the gold plates, we have an abundant event that is described endlessly and in stunning detail by both believers and non-believers. The plates elicit, in great abundance voluminous cultural narratives that serve to expose the cultural assumptions shared by both early Mormons and early anti-Mormons—assumptions that include the fear of a culture overwhelmed by its own fecundity and constantly in danger of being duped by the peculiarly potent fakeries that accompany frontier life. The plates “crease” reality so profoundly that it never assumes its old shape. In a slightly less apologetic vein, philosopher Bruno Latour has described ideas or objects that perform this function as “actants.” Actants, like abundant events, are contested because they carry with them the possibility of irrevocable cultural shifts. Latour writes that “as a result of the actants’ work, certain things do not return to their original state. A shape is set, like a crease. It can be called a trap, a ratchet, an irreversibility, a Maxwell’s demon, a reification. The exact word does not matter so long as it designates an asymmetry. Then you cannot act as you wish. There are winners and losers, there are directions, and some are made stronger than others.” 25 And this is Orsi’s point about abundant events—scholars, in what is sometimes an ironic attempt to reify them, to make them intelligible, or more real, marginalize them or impose upon them an unnatural ideological structure or order and in so doing miss the point entirely. The gold plates, like other abundant events, are real precisely because they spill out of the narrative intended for them and move through history on their own. They produce unintended consequences; they provoke reactions that reveal the keys to understanding culture. No one has ever controlled the idea of the gold plates and their abundance continues to overflow into what we call, somewhat comically, the “real world.”
1. Robert Orsi, “2+2 = 5, Can we begin to think about unexplained religious experiences in ways that acknowledge their existence?” The American Scholar, Spring 2007, available online at http://www.theamericanscholar.org/when-2-2-5/
2. Robert A. Orsi, “Abundant History: Marian Apparitions as Alternative Modernity,” Historically Speaking: The Bulletin of the Historical Society, September/October 2008, 14-15.
3. Robert A. Orsi, Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars who Study them (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005), 198.
4. Orsi, “2+2=5”
5. Edward Stevenson, Reminiscences of the Prophet Joseph (Salt Lake City: Edward Stevenson, 1893), reproduced in ; reproduced in Dan Vogel, ed., Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake: Signature Books, 2000), 3:184. Hereafter cited as EMD.
6. Lorenzo Suanders to Thomas Gregg, 28 January 1895; reproduced in Vogel, EMD 3:178.
7. All of the quotes in this section are from Joseph Smith’s 1839 draft of the history of the Church. Reproduced in Vogel, EMD 1:54-63.
8. Dean C. Jessee, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Richard L. Jensen, eds., Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839, vol. 1 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2008), 88.
9. “Orson Hyde Account, 1842”; reproduced in Vogel, EMD 1:164.
10. “Martin Harris Testimony, 1870,”; reproduced in Vogel, EMD 2:332
11. Pomeroy Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism (New York: D. Appleton and co., 1867), 13
12. Tucker, Origin,14.
13. Tucker, Origin, 16.
14. Tucker, Origin, 29.
15. Tucker, Origin, 16.
16. Tucker, Origin, 18.
17. Letter to the Editor, Palmyra Reflector, 6 January 1831; reproduced in Vogel, EMD 2:239-240.
18. Abner Cole, Gold Bible, No. 2, Palmyra Reflector, 18 January 1831; reproduced in Vogel, EMD 2:241.
19. Tucker, Origin, 289.
20. Lorenzo Saunders Interview, reproduced in Vogel, EMD 2:127.
21. Lorenzo Saunders Interview, reproduced in Vogel, EMD 2:132.
22. Palmyra Reflector, 6 January 1831; reproduced in Vogel, EMD 2:256.
23. “Nathaniel W. Howe and Others to Ancil Beach”; reproduced in Volgel, EMD 3:15.
24. Jessee Townsend to Phineas Stiles, 24 December 1833; reproduced in Vogel, EMD3:22.
25. Bruno Latour, The Pasteurization of France (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), 160.