The Use and Abuse of Memory: Interpreting World War II in Contemporary European Politics (Hardback)
  • The Use and Abuse of Memory: Interpreting World War II in Contemporary European Politics (Hardback)
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The Use and Abuse of Memory: Interpreting World War II in Contemporary European Politics (Hardback)

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£80.99
Hardback 290 Pages / Published: 30/10/2013
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Decades after the previously unimaginable horrors of the Nazi extermination camps and the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, their memories remain part of our lives. In academic and human terms, preserving awareness of this past is an ethical imperative. This volume concerns narratives about-and allusions to-World War II across contemporary Europe, and explains why contemporary Europeans continue to be drawn to it as a template of comparison, interpretation, even prediction.

This volume adds a distinctly interdisciplinary approach to the trajectories of recent academic inquiries. Historians, sociologists, anthropologists, linguists, political scientists, and area study specialists contribute wide-ranging theoretical paradigms, disciplinary frameworks, and methodological approaches.

The volume focuses on how, where, and to what effect World War II has been remembered. The editors discuss how World War II in particular continues to be a point of reference across the political spectrum and not only in Europe. It will be of interest for those interested in popular culture, World War II history, and national identity studies.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISBN: 9781412851947
Number of pages: 290
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"A thoughtful collection of essays about the 'mythscape' of World War II and the Holocaust and its persistent use by actors across the political spectrum. The invocation of Nazi analogies in the contemporary controversy over European austerity policies only scratches the surface of the seemingly bottomless well of comparisons and similes that may be mobilized drawing on the background of World War II."

--John Torpey, City University of New York-Graduate Center

"Memory studies have proliferated over the past decades or so. This book is a very welcome and distinctive contribution because its focus is on the manifold conditions under which experiences of the Second World War have remained alive in contemporary Europe. The contributions suggest that the War has remained the sacred key of meaning-giving power across contested narratives in different geographical, political, and social contexts. Drawing on an impressive range of interdisciplinary methodologies and different cases, this book is a scholarly and imaginative guide to the intricate long term consequences of Europe's founding event."

--Harald Wydra, St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge

"Numerous books explore 'the presence of the past in the present, ' contributing to the growing body of literature on memories of the Second World War. The Use and Abuse of Memory adds to this literature but offers more than just another analysis of European war memories. The interdisciplinarity of the project allows for a wide-range of theoretical and methodical approaches. Combined with the geographical breadth of the studies included, this pushes the book well beyond established parameters of memory studies offering new insights into the way the past is used and abused across a wide range of social realms in Europe."

--Aline Sierp, Maastricht University


"This volume addresses the enduring narrative and memories of W W II in four themes of current scholarship: a combination of interdisciplinary paradigms and concerns; a transnational inclusivity of all Europe; an exploration of diverse signifying practices, institutional positions, and media representations; and the prominence of memories of the experience of W W II in contemporary European ideologies and consciousness. The introduction refers to the ubiquity of allusions to W W II that demonstrates its continued relevance in a diversity of social and political contexts as 'mythscapes' and 'contested domains.' Bracketed by the authors' informative introduction and epilogues are 13 chapters that may be grouped thematically: transnational, regional, and comparative discussions; the representation of W W II in art; the formulation of narratives and counter-narratives by historians, politicians, and society in general; the theory of memory studies; and the salience and resonance of specific memories for previous and contemporary crises. The editors close with a provocative proposal: perhaps the complex issues and crises of contemporary Europe are prompting scholars to turn to W W II for comparisons and predictions that must be evaluated historiographically and ethically. . . . Recommended."

--B. Osborne, Choice

"An array of original and rich case studies. . . . This is an important volume."

--Patryk Babiracki, The Sarmatian Review

"A thoughtful collection of essays about the 'mythscape' of World War II and the Holocaust and its persistent use by actors across the political spectrum. The invocation of Nazi analogies in the contemporary controversy over European austerity policies only scratches the surface of the seemingly bottomless well of comparisons and similes that may be mobilized drawing on the background of World War II."

--John Torpey, City University of New York-Graduate Center

"Memory studies have proliferated over the past decades or so. This book is a very welcome and distinctive contribution because its focus is on the manifold conditions under which experiences of the Second World War have remained alive in contemporary Europe. The contributions suggest that the War has remained the sacred key of meaning-giving power across contested narratives in different geographical, political, and social contexts. Drawing on an impressive range of interdisciplinary methodologies and different cases, this book is a scholarly and imaginative guide to the intricate long term consequences of Europe's founding event."

--Harald Wydra, St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge

"Numerous books explore 'the presence of the past in the present, ' contributing to the growing body of literature on memories of the Second World War. The Use and Abuse of Memory adds to this literature but offers more than just another analysis of European war memories. The interdisciplinarity of the project allows for a wide-range of theoretical and methodical approaches. Combined with the geographical breadth of the studies included, this pushes the book well beyond established parameters of memory studies offering new insights into the way the past is used and abused across a wide range of social realms in Europe."

--Aline Sierp, Maastricht University


"This volume addresses the enduring narrative and memories of W W II in four themes of current scholarship: a combination of interdisciplinary paradigms and concerns; a transnational inclusivity of all Europe; an exploration of diverse signifying practices, institutional positions, and media representations; and the prominence of memories of the experience of W W II in contemporary European ideologies and consciousness. The introduction refers to the ubiquity of allusions to W W II that demonstrates its continued relevance in a diversity of social and political contexts as 'mythscapes' and 'contested domains.' Bracketed by the authors' informative introduction and epilogues are 13 chapters that may be grouped thematically: transnational, regional, and comparative discussions; the representation of W W II in art; the formulation of narratives and counter-narratives by historians, politicians, and society in general; the theory of memory studies; and the salience and resonance of specific memories for previous and contemporary crises. The editors close with a provocative proposal: perhaps the complex issues and crises of contemporary Europe are prompting scholars to turn to W W II for comparisons and predictions that must be evaluated historiographically and ethically. . . . Recommended."

--B. Osborne, Choice

"An array of original and rich case studies. . . . This is an important volume."

--Patryk Babiracki, The Sarmatian Review

"A thoughtful collection of essays about the 'mythscape' of World War II and the Holocaust and its persistent use by actors across the political spectrum. The invocation of Nazi analogies in the contemporary controversy over European austerity policies only scratches the surface of the seemingly bottomless well of comparisons and similes that may be mobilized drawing on the background of World War II."

--John Torpey, City University of New York-Graduate Center

"Memory studies have proliferated over the past decades or so. This book is a very welcome and distinctive contribution because its focus is on the manifold conditions under which experiences of the Second World War have remained alive in contemporary Europe. The contributions suggest that the War has remained the sacred key of meaning-giving power across contested narratives in different geographical, political, and social contexts. Drawing on an impressive range of interdisciplinary methodologies and different cases, this book is a scholarly and imaginative guide to the intricate long term consequences of Europe's founding event."

--Harald Wydra, St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge

"Numerous books explore 'the presence of the past in the present, ' contributing to the growing body of literature on memories of the Second World War. The Use and Abuse of Memory adds to this literature but offers more than just another analysis of European war memories. The interdisciplinarity of the project allows for a wide-range of theoretical and methodical approaches. Combined with the geographical breadth of the studies included, this pushes the book well beyond established parameters of memory studies offering new insights into the way the past is used and abused across a wide range of social realms in Europe."

--Aline Sierp, Maastricht University


-This volume addresses the enduring narrative and memories of W W II in four themes of current scholarship: a combination of interdisciplinary paradigms and concerns; a transnational inclusivity of all Europe; an exploration of diverse signifying practices, institutional positions, and media representations; and the prominence of memories of the experience of W W II in contemporary European ideologies and consciousness. The introduction refers to the ubiquity of allusions to W W II that demonstrates its continued relevance in a diversity of social and political contexts as 'mythscapes' and 'contested domains.' Bracketed by the authors' informative introduction and epilogues are 13 chapters that may be grouped thematically: transnational, regional, and comparative discussions; the representation of W W II in art; the formulation of narratives and counter-narratives by historians, politicians, and society in general; the theory of memory studies; and the salience and resonance of specific memories for previous and contemporary crises. The editors close with a provocative proposal: perhaps the complex issues and crises of contemporary Europe are prompting scholars to turn to W W II for comparisons and predictions that must be evaluated historiographically and ethically. . . . Recommended.-

--B. Osborne, Choice

-An array of original and rich case studies. . . . This is an important volume.-

--Patryk Babiracki, The Sarmatian Review

-A thoughtful collection of essays about the 'mythscape' of World War II and the Holocaust and its persistent use by actors across the political spectrum. The invocation of Nazi analogies in the contemporary controversy over European austerity policies only scratches the surface of the seemingly bottomless well of comparisons and similes that may be mobilized drawing on the background of World War II.-

--John Torpey, City University of New York-Graduate Center

-Memory studies have proliferated over the past decades or so. This book is a very welcome and distinctive contribution because its focus is on the manifold conditions under which experiences of the Second World War have remained alive in contemporary Europe. The contributions suggest that the War has remained the sacred key of meaning-giving power across contested narratives in different geographical, political, and social contexts. Drawing on an impressive range of interdisciplinary methodologies and different cases, this book is a scholarly and imaginative guide to the intricate long term consequences of Europe's founding event.-

--Harald Wydra, St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge

-Numerous books explore 'the presence of the past in the present, ' contributing to the growing body of literature on memories of the Second World War. The Use and Abuse of Memory adds to this literature but offers more than just another analysis of European war memories. The interdisciplinarity of the project allows for a wide-range of theoretical and methodical approaches. Combined with the geographical breadth of the studies included, this pushes the book well beyond established parameters of memory studies offering new insights into the way the past is used and abused across a wide range of social realms in Europe.-

--Aline Sierp, Maastricht University

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