Something in the Soil: Field-Testing the New Western History

Something in the Soil: Field-Testing the New Western History

by Patricia Nelson Limerick
     
 

A wide-ranging collection of essays and arguments from the New West's landmark historian. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the American West is a region of great views and great friction, vigorous growth and equally vigorous conflict. In Something in the Soil, Patricia Nelson Limerick continues the project she began with The Legacy of Conquest, traveling… See more details below

Overview

A wide-ranging collection of essays and arguments from the New West's landmark historian. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the American West is a region of great views and great friction, vigorous growth and equally vigorous conflict. In Something in the Soil, Patricia Nelson Limerick continues the project she began with The Legacy of Conquest, traveling far outside the usual academic circles to put Western history to use in reckoning with current dilemmas. Whether the topic is the changing mission of the national parks, the notion of "culture" as a sort of Frankenstein's monster, the resurgent boom in Western gold mining, the unexamined--and increasingly ineffective--rituals of American environmentalists, or current struggles over the standing of the "Great White Men" of the frontier past, Limerick operates on the principle that history is an active presence in the West today, quite literally "something in the soil." Her irreverence for conventional pieties coexists with her respect for the American West's long history as a magnet for dreams of a better life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393037883
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments9
Introduction Something in the Soil13
Part I Forgetting and Remembering29
I-A Haunted America33
I-B The Adventures of the Frontier in the Twentieth
Century74
I-C The Case of the Premature Departure: The
Trans-Mississippi West and American History Textbooks93
Part II Beleaguered Great White Men107
II-A Historical Lessons on Anza Day111
II-B John Sutter: Prototype for Failure126
II-C Turnerians All: The Dream of a Helpful History in
an Intelligible World141
Part III Environmental Impacts167
III-A Mission to the Environmentalists171
III-B Disorientation and Reorientation: The American
Landscape Discovered from the West186
III-C The Gold Rush and the Shaping of the American West214
Part IV The Historian as Dreamer: Preaching to (and by) the
Half-Converted229
IV-A Peace Initiative: Using the Mormons to Rethink
Culture and Ethnicity in American History235
IV-B Will the Real Californian Please Stand Up?256
IV-C The Shadows of Heaven Itself: TheDemanding Dreams
of the American West274
IV-D Believing in the American West302
Part V Epilogue319
V-A A How-to Guide for the Academic Going Public323
V-B Dancing with Professors: The Trouble with Academic
Prose333
V-C Limerick's Rules of Verbal Etiquette342
Notes345
Index375

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