Inspired by new western history, public history projects have for thirty years presented larger audiences with a sense of Western history that addresses issues of race, class, and gender. The legacy of these efforts is mixed. Public knowledge of Western history is considerably more sophisticated than it once was, although the Hollywood image of the West has proven hard to unseat. No longer youthful challengers to an educational and institutional establishment, the founders of public history and new western history entered the twenty-first century with a nuanced maturity that faces a society whose own demographics and attitudes are changing rapidly as well.
- © 2009 The Regents of the University of California and the National Council on Public History