The Prophet Joseph Smith was born into a world that was much different from the one we know today. The United States in particular was a "work in progress," endeavoring to establish itself. American populist movements were changing the religious, social, and political landscape, while the blossoming of inventions, literature, and art affected nearly every aspect of life. Joseph Smith was a man of the frontier and a participant in this wonderfully dynamic era. To understand him fully, we need to understand the setting in which his work took place. Joseph Smith's America places us right in the center of that era, showing us through word and picture the world that had been prepared by the hand of the Lord so the Restoration could begin.