The Tanner's major work is Mormonism -- Shadow or Reality. This book is filled with LARGE BOLD letters, underlining and continued repetitions that make it a very difficult book to read. The editors at Moody Press succeeded in reworking that information into a much more readable version, The Changing World of Mormonism. The Tanner's would like to have you believe that they are honest seekers after truth and they are simply providing a service by publishing copies of documents which are generally not available.
Michael Quinn has suggested that they should be able to present a larger perspective, "Jerald and Sandra Tanner have read widely enough in the sources of LDS history to provide that perspective, but they do not. Although the most conscientious and honest researcher can overlook pertinent sources of information, the repeated omissions of evidence by the Tanners suggest an intentional avoidance of sources that modify or refute their caustic interpretation of Mormon history." (Foster 1984, 51)
A non-Mormon scholar (Lawrence Foster, associate professor of American history at the Georgia Institute of Technology) who has spent many years on intensive work on Mormonism and its history says of the Tanners:
The Tanners have repeatedly assumed a holier-than-thou stance, refusing to be fair in applying the same debate standard of absolute rectitude which they demand of Mormonism to their own actions, writing, and beliefs. . .A short reply to Mormonism -- Shadow or Reality, by Michael Quinn
The Tanners seem to be playing a skillful shell game in which the premises for judgment are conveniently shifted so that the conclusion is always the same--negative. (Foster 1984, 45-46, 49)
Review of several books by the Tanners