Synopses & Reviews
In , Patricia Nelson Limerick travels far outside the usual academic circles to bring Western past and Western present into a spirited union. Whether her topic is the rapid growth in the West today, the patent awfulness of most academic writing, or struggles over the standing of the "Great White Men" of the region's past, Limerick operates on the principle that history is an active presence in the West, layers of collective memory that are, quite literally, "something in the soil." Enlightening and always witty, this wide-ranging collection of essays and arguments from the New West's landmark historian offers an artful journey into its dramatic past and contentious present.
"Patricia Limerick is simply one of the best writers alive."--Garry Wills
About the Author
Patricia Nelson Limerick is a professor of history and chair of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Table of Contents
Haunted America -- The adventures of the frontier in the twentieth century -- The case of the premature departure: the trans-Mississippi West and American history textbooks -- Historical lessons on Anza Day -- John Sutter: prototype for failure -- Turnerians all: the dream of a helpful history in an intelligible world -- Mission to the environmentalists -- Disorientation and reorientation: the American landscape discovered from the West -- The Gold Rush and the shaping of the American West -- Peace initiative: using the Mormons to rethink culture and ethnicity in American history -- Will the real Californian please stand up? -- The shadows of Heaven itself: the demanding dreams of the American West -- Believing in the American West -- A how-to guide for the academic going public -- Dancing with professors: the trouble with academic prose -- Limerick's rules of verbal etiquette.