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Description - States of Memory by Jeffrey K. Olick

"States of Memory" illuminates the construction of national memory from a comparative, cross-case perspective. The essays collected here emphasize that memory itself has a history: not only do particular meanings change, but the very faculty of memory - its place in social relations and the forms it takes - varies over time. Integrating theories of memory and of nationalism with case studies, these essays stake a vital middle ground between particular and universal approaches to social memory studies. Sociologists and historians, the contributors describe societies' struggles to produce and then use ideas of what a normal past should look like. Contributors examine claims about the genuineness of revolution (in fascist Italy and Communist Russia), of inclusiveness (in the United States and Australia), of innocence (in Germany), and of inevitability (Israel). Essayists explore the reputation of Confucius among Maoist leaders during China's Cultural Revolution; commemorations of Martin Luther King Jr. in the US House and Senate; the "end" of the postwar era in Japan; and how national calendars - in signifying what to remember, celebrate, or mourn - structure national identification.
Above all, these essays reveal that memory is never unitary, no matter how hard various powers strive to make it so.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780822330516
ISBN-10: 0822330512
Format: Hardback
Pages: 368
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 21-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Jeffrey K. Olick

Jeffrey K. Olick is Associate Professor of Sociology at Columbia University.

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