Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Review on Two Books: "Saving Places that Matter" and "Cultural Resource Laws and Practice"
Report for Historic Preservation Class at University of Nebraska - Kearney; Masters in History Program
Report Number One – Due June 7, 2013Thomas F. King - Saving Places that Matter: A Citizen’s Guide to Using the National Historic Preservation Act, Kindle Edition, Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc., 2007 and Cultural Resource Laws and Practice, 4th ed. , Kindle edition. New York: AltaMira Press, 2013.
When looking at these two books, Saving Places that Matter: A Citizen’s Guide to Using the National Historic Preservation Act and Cultural Resource Laws and Practice it is easy to see the similarities and also the differences. This is obvious because of the subject matter, and that they were both written by the same person, and so therefore have the same style. The thesis for Cultural Resource Laws and Practice is definitely the title. Saving Places that Matter: A Citizen’s Guide to Using the National Historic Preservation Act also includes the thesis within the title.
Both books definitely live up to their titles and are comprehensive for someone entering the preservation field as either student and/or practitioner. However, this does not mean that the author waivers from consistent exactitude. This means that both books moves from specific information to examples. This gives the book life, so that they are not textbooks, but are more informational and keeps the reader engaged. Neither is written in a derogatory manner. So, the reader does not ever feel stupid or inadequate. In fact, the reader connects with the meaning behind the laws. King describes to beginners information about the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 , Section 106 and the National Register, showing how it “limits itself to historic properties”. He then describes in detail the steps to how properties become eligible and determined. Specifically, Saving Places that Matter was written for the everyday person who are trying to stop projects, or redirect them.” Cultural Resource first appears to have been written for the college student. However, King states that it was written to “lay out what [he] regards as the unsatisfactory but real condition of CRM (cultural resource management) in the United States today.” He states that he assumes that “many readers are employed by agencies or are thinking about or at least can imagine being thus employed.”
Cultural Resource shows how culture reflects laws and its practice within the historic preservation industry. It also includes laws that are relevant to the industry from the author’s prospective. Saving Places also includes laws. However, there are only a few included here, and the majority of the book reflects on how properties are effected by the National Register. The feelings of each book are also different. The first has more of a direct approach, while the second has more of a consultative attitude. Saving Places begins by giving the reader background information on how King came up with the idea of writing the book and his background. Cultural Resource does create a connection with the reader by dedicating the book to the memory of a friend “who taught me that preservation is about living people.”
The purpose of Saving Places is completely achieved in the fact that it is not for the attorney, but only giving basic information. However, the purpose of Cultural Resource is only somewhat achieved in that the weaknesses of CR come across as the same bureaucratic problems of the rest of any government and/or agency. King even stated, “Whining is tasteless.” Organization of Cultural Resource is progressive, so that the reader flows from one area to the next. Organization of Saving Places is simpler and has direct stops and starts at the beginning and end of each chapter. However, this is done so that the reader can stop and go back to re-read what he or she has previously done for better understanding. This book’s Contents section is even subdivided into different sections. Again, this is for the benefit of the reader. They are both very well written and easy to read. There is also one Appendix, along with Resources, Glossary, and Index that the first does not have. Cultural Resource has five different appendixes! They both have an About the Author section in the back of the book.
Interestingly, the “About the Author” sections of the books are not entirely the same. The immediate impression is that they would be duplicates of one another. This is true for the most part. There is more at the beginning of the section in Cultural Resource. Both books are written with a bias for the salvation of historic places. There is no opposing side, except what is given within each law. An easy example was in the “most important legal precedent, the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court precedent called the Penn Central Decision.”  where the business wanted to change the building and the city wanted to take over ownership. They are both definitely one sided. This would be obvious due to the fact that the author’s history began in the 1970’s with working with Indian tribes trying to save properties from the government. He also worked as a consultant and has helped many people save properties. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside.
King, Thomas F. Cultural Resource Laws and Practice, 4th ed. , Kindle edition. (New York:
AltaMira Press, 2013.
---- Saving Places that Matter: A Citizen’s Guide to Using the National Historic
Preservation Act, Kindle Edition, Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc., 2007
 Thomas F. King, Cultural Resource Laws and Practice, 4th ed. , Kindle edition. (New York: AltaMira Press, 2013), Location 1768.
 Thomas F. King, Saving Places that Matter: A Citizen’s Guide to Using the National Historic Preservation Act, Kindle Edition, (Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc., 2007), Location 126.
 Cultural, 88.
 Ibid, 2235.
 Ibid, 55.
 Ibid, 1538.
 Saving, 4994.
Great T-Shirts and More!
See other gifts available on Zazzle.