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Commemorations The Politics of National Identity

ISBN-10: 0691029253
ISBN-13: 9780691029252
Edition: 1994
Authors: John R. Gillis
List price: $39.95 Buy it from $15.33
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Description: Memory is as central to modern politics as politics is central to modern memory. We are so accustomed to living in a forest of monuments, to having the past represented to us through museums, historic sites, and public sculpture, that we easily lose  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 10/6/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Memory is as central to modern politics as politics is central to modern memory. We are so accustomed to living in a forest of monuments, to having the past represented to us through museums, historic sites, and public sculpture, that we easily lose sight of the recent origins and diverse meanings of these uniquely modern phenomena. In this volume, leading historians, anthropologists, and ethnographers explore the relationship between collective memory and national identity in diverse cultures throughout history. Placing commemorations in their historical settings, the contributors disclose the contested nature of these monuments by showing how groups and individuals struggle to shape the past to their own ends. The volume is introduced by John Gillis's broad overview of the development of public memory in relation to the history of the nation-state. Other contributions address the usefulness of identity as a cross-cultural concept (Richard Handler), the connection between identity, heritage, and history (David Lowenthal), national memory in early modern England (David Cressy), commemoration in Cleveland (John Bodnar), the museum and the politics of social control in modern Iraq (Eric Davis), invented tradition and collective memory in Israel (Yael Zerubavel), black emancipation and the civil war monument (Kirk Savage), memory and naming in the Great War (Thomas Laqueur), American commemoration of World War I (Kurt Piehler), art, commerce, and the production of memory in France after World War I (Daniel Sherman), historic preservation in twentieth-century Germany (Rudy Koshar), the struggle over French identity in the early twentieth century (Herman Lebovics), and the commemoration of concentration camps in the new Germany (Claudia Koonz).

John R. Gillis is the author of Islands of the Mind; A World of Their Own Making: Myth Ritual, and the Quest for Family Values; and Commemorations. A professor of history emeritus at Rutgers University, he now divides his time between two coasts: Northern California and Maine.

Acknowledgments
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: Memory and Identity: The History of a Relationship
The Problem of Identity and Memory
Is "Identity" a Useful Cross-Cultural Concept?
Identity, Heritage, and History
Memory in the Construction of National Identities
National Memory in Early Modern England
Public Memory in an American City: Commemoration in Cleveland
The Museum and the Politics of Social Control in Modern Iraq
The Historic, the Legendary, and the Incredible: Invented Tradition and Collective Memory in Israel
Memories of War and Wars over Memory
The Politics of Memory: Black Emancipation and the Civil War Monument
Memory and Naming in the Great War
The War Dead and the Gold Star: American Commemoration of the First World War
Art, Commerce, and the Production of Memory in France after World War I
Politics of Memory and Identity
Building Pasts: Historic Preservation and Identity in Twentieth-Century Germany
Creating the Authentic France: Struggles over French Identity in the First Half of the Twentieth Century
Between Memory and Oblivion: Concentration Camps in German Memory
Index

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