Pulling from outside, pushing from inside: Imperiled Promise and change in the National Park Service
In 2011, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) released Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service, a multi-year team-authored study commissioned by the NPS Chief Historian. The study offered twelve findings assessing strengths and challenges facing history practice across the agency, and made almost one hundred recommendations that aimed to support that work. The report's fifth anniversary offers an opportunity to review how Imperiled Promise's proposals have fared. We find that, although the report has been positively received and many of its perspectives and specific suggestions embraced, the persistent structural issues it identified continue to hinder full realization of the parks' promise. The OAH, National Council on Public History (NCPH), American Historical Association (AHA), and other professional associations, as well as their members, must continue to advocate strongly and consistently for NPS history.
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