Ultimately, what I like about this book is right in the title: it’s practical. The book is not titled “Idealistic” or “Perfect” Heritage Management because those approaches, while admirable, do not translate to the realities of implementing heritage management law. Rather, young heritage management professionals are handed reams of laws, regulations, management plans, and no small amount of institutional baggage through which they are forced to find their own way in the profession. Thus, there are as many ways to implement heritage management as there are practitioners, especially in a diverse, pluralistic society like the United States. Anfinson’s practical approach is a universally relevant vision for American heritage management, and this book articulates that vision clearly and concisely. I highly recommend it.
If I were teaching a class in heritage management, I would certainly adopt this book, probably as required reading and a stand-alone text.— Thomas F. King, Owner, Thomas F. King PhD LLC
The book is a welcome addition to a currently lacking subfield of recent books written to guide a student’s understanding of the crucial preservation and archeology framework in the twenty-first century. The book provides readers with all the tools necessary to begin to understand how heritage management laws guide practice, and the content establishes a foundation for creating effective stakeholders and professionals under the current regulations. The author acknowledges that the book is not meant to critique the tools available, but to best explain how they exist currently (438). The text requires readers to draw their own conclusions regarding changes that could be made within, or outside of, the current framework. Students in the field struggling to find texts or coursework with more practical application and less theoretical exploration will appreciate the depth of research, knowledge, and explanation contained in Anfinson’s book.