Building on a successful career as an academic historian working in Western American history and environmental history, and on an expanding list of honors, awards, and elections and appointment to professional positions of leadership, Patty Limerick pursued an unconventional ambition to apply historical perspective to contemporary dilemmas and challenges. In arenas ranging from water allocation and management to energy production and consumption, Limerick has received abundant opportunities to persuade members of the public to value history as an essential guide in navigating in the present. Inevitably, this work has led to a fascination with the central role of federal bureaucracies in shaping the American West, and to concern about the rise of anti-government attitudes in our time. Limerick is currently at work on a book called The Significance of the Bureaucrat in American History: Hair-Raising Tales from the Department of the Interior.
Western American history, environmental history, history of bureaucracy, applied history