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In the last few decades, there are few concepts that have rivaled "collective memory" for attention in the humanities and social sciences. Indeed, use of the term has extended far beyond scholarship to the realm of politics and journalism, where it has appeared in speeches at the centers of power and on the front pages of the world's leading newspapers. Seen by scholars in numerous fields as a hallmark characteristic of our age, an idea crucial for understanding our present social, political, and cultural conditions, collective memory now guides inquiries into diverse, though connected, phenomena. Nevertheless, there remains a great deal of confusion about the meaning, origin, and implication of the term and the field of inquiry it underwrites.
The Collective Memory Reader presents, organizes, and evaluates past work and contemporary contributions on collective memory. Combining seminal texts, hard-to-find classics, previously untranslated references, and contemporary landmarks, it will serve as a key reference in the field. In addition to a thorough introduction, which outlines a useful past for contemporary memory studies, The Collective Memory Reader includes five sections-Precursors and Classics; History, Memory, and Identity; Power, Politics, and Contestation; Media and Modes of Transmission; Memory, Justice, and the Contemporary Epoch-comprising ninety-one texts. A short editorial essay introduces each of the sections, while brief capsules frame each of the selected texts.
An indispensable guide, The Collective Memory Reader is at once a definitive entry point into the field for students and an essential resource for scholars.
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Jeffrey K. Olick is Professor of Sociology and History at the University of Virginia.
Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Daniel Levy is Associate Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.
"This collection is impressive on so many levels that it is difficult to avoid the pat assessment that this is a 'must-have book' for all scholars and students, novice or veteran, interested in the encompassing subject matter." --Cynthia Comacchio, Wilfrid Laurier University
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