Most Americans agree that our heritage—both natural and cultural—should be protected. Then why does development run rampant, aided—rather than limited—by government inaction? Tom King has been a participant in and observer of this system for decades, as a government worker, heritage consultant, and advocate for local communities. In this hard-hitting critique of the heritage-industrial complex, King points the finger at watchdogs who instead serve as advocates, unintelligible (often contradictory) regulations, disinterested government employees and power-seeking agencies, all of whom conspire to keep our heritage unprotected. His solution to this crisis will be uncomfortable to many in power, but may help save more of our cultural and natural treasures.
About the Author
Thomas F. King is one of the leading consultants in cultural resources management in the United States. He teaches dozens of workshops each year on this topic for SWCA Environmental Consultants and is author of many major books in the field including, Saving Places that Matter (2007), Cultural Resource Laws and Practice (2004) and Federal Planning and Historic Places (2000). Former staff member of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, he has been in the heritage management business for four decades.
“Our Unprotected Heritage-Whitewashing Destruction of our Cultural and Natural Environment is a necessary and must read for anyone who has tried to penetrate the system! Whether you are an individual citizen, a tribal government, a concerned political representative, who has ever wondered why such projects catapult to existence and fruition. This book unveils the deep and cracked truth of these well-intended laws whose meaning and protections of the concerned are redirected within the process to the core of an already predetermined path. I am encouraged by the suggested adjustments to the existing laws; it is a beginning that holds great hope for a discouraged and frustrated person who for 25 years has attempted to work within the confines of a stay in the box system. Kudos to Tom for going out on the limb of a great tree of many colors for true democracy, of the people, by the people, FOR THE PEOPLE!”
—Nora McDowell, Former Chair, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
“The book was a joy to read: It's provocative yet reasonable with a copious dash of delightfully dry humor. It also goes directly to the heart of some of the biggest problems with environmental protection and historic preservation. I would make this book required reading for any course on the National Environmental Policy Act or the National Historic Preservation Act. Undergraduates and graduate students preparing for environmental careers need to know about both acts, and they need to know how in practice our country goes about implementing them. Your book lays it out clearly with both a practical and theoretical understanding....I don't think I have ever read something on these two acts that I would call a ‘page-turner,’ but this book is exactly that. I kept wanting to read more!”
—John H. Perkins, The Evergreen State College
"In this compelling book, Tom King examines the state of cultural and natural preservation in the United States and finds it sorely lacking....Our Unprotected Heritage is a must read for all those concerned with preservation of our national cultural and national resources."
—Mark Michel, American Archaeology
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