The Making of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park: A Devil, Two Rivers, and a Dream / Edition 1

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Overview

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is most widely known today for the attempted slave revolt led by John Brown in 1859, the nucleus for the interpretation of the current national park. Here, Moyer and Shackel tell the behind-the-scenes story of how this event was chosen and preserved for commemoration, providing lessons for federal, state, local and non-profit organizations who continually struggle over the dilemma about which past to present to the public. Professional and non-professional audiences alike will benefit from their important insights into how federal agencies interpret the past, and in turn shape public memory.

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Editorial Reviews

H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
A lovingly told story....The book is useful because it tells several neglected stories....A fine study.
— April 2008
Material Culture
The Making of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is a fascinating book that is fully engaged with the present. The 'making' in the title highlights the importance of the recent past, present, and even the future in the author's perspectives. Moyer and Shackel have created a useable past by discussing the shortcomings of preservation and interpretation at the park . . . This book should be required reading for all cultural resource management professionals.
R. Bruce Craig
One of the finest park histories that I’ve read—thoughtful, original, fluidly written, meticulously researched. By juxtaposing three intertwined stories—history, archaeology, and interpretation—Moyer and Shackel explain how the quest for historical authenticity can give way to the creation of a fantastical parkscape. A superb case study on how 'history makes itself' and a model for future park histories.
Adrian Praetzellis
More than just a meticulously researched account of the creation of an iconic American park, the authors present a human story of contested meanings, good intentions, and power politics. Why did the National Park Service demolish most of the 19th-century architecture in Harpers Ferry? Who claimed that John Brown was a lunatic? And why was one of the first of the park's historians relegated to cleaning restrooms? Read on.
Richard West Sellars
This is the kind of thoughtful and provoking study of shifting policy and practice that every historic site needs. Moyer and Shackel have probed beneath the surface to analyze the changing treatment and presentation over time of a complex historic place at the confluence of two majestic rivers where events occurred that propelled Americans toward the Civil War.
Charles E. Orser
How is history preserved, presented, and commemorated? In this book, Moyer and Shackel give us rare insight into the process of how a national park gets made. In the process we learn how the conflicting goals and differing perceptions of various stakeholders can cause the past to be changed over time. This is a superb example of multidisciplinary research at its finest, told with conviction and feeling. It's destined to become a standard text in classroom and field, and hopefully also in the halls of power. Those of us concerned about our vanishing cultural heritage need more books like this one.
Dwight Pitcaithley
Teresa S. Moyer and Paul A. Shackel help us analyze the historical reality of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park through their careful examination of the National Park Service's restoration and interpretation of this historically important place. In so doing, they emphasize two topics shared by most historic sites: restoration philosophy and multiple histories.
Edward T. Linenthal
Harpers Ferry is, to my mind, one of the most compelling historic sites in the nation. There are so many histories living in layer after layer of this place. Teresa S. Moyer and Paul A. Shackel excavate them in all their exquisite complexity, offering a model biography of a historic site.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online - April 2008
A lovingly told story....The book is useful because it tells several neglected stories....A fine study.
November 2008 The Journal Of Southern History
Moyer and Shackel skillfully uncover the site's many layers and illuminate both its strengths and limitations as a window on the past and as a canvas for changing NPS initiatives.
November 2008 The Journal of Southern History
Moyer and Shackel skillfully uncover the site's many layers and illuminate both its strengths and limitations as a window on the past and as a canvas for changing NPS initiatives.
Charles E. Orser Jr.
How is history preserved, presented, and commemorated? In this book, Moyer and Shackel give us rare insight into the process of how a national park gets made. In the process we learn how the conflicting goals and differing perceptions of various stakeholders can cause the past to be changed over time. This is a superb example of multidisciplinary research at its finest, told with conviction and feeling. It's destined to become a standard text in classroom and field, and hopefully also in the halls of power. Those of us concerned about our vanishing cultural heritage need more books like this one.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online, April 2008 - .
A lovingly told story....The book is useful because it tells several neglected stories....A fine study.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
A lovingly told story....The book is useful because it tells several neglected stories....A fine study.
— April 2008
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Teresa S. Moyer is a research assistant in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she received her MAA in 2002. She is currently a PhD candidate in American studies. Paul A. Shackel is professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland at College Park and director of the Center for Heritage Resource Studies. Previously, he was employed as an archaeologist at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

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Table of Contents

1 Foreword 2 Preface 3 Harpers Ferry and Its Place in History 4 Remembering Harpers Ferry 5 The Local Campaign for a National Monument 6 Local Residents and the National Park Service 7 Harper House and the Women's Clubs of West Virginia 8 John Brown: Devil, Hero, Terrorist, and Abolitionist 9 Civil War Commemoration and Preservation 10 Industry, Archaeology, and a Working-Class History 11 Making African-American History Prominent at Harpers Ferry 12 Time Freezing: Harpers Ferry and Its Place in Time 13 Lessons Learned - Or Not - at Harpers Ferry

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 10, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

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