Contested Commemoration in U.S. American History: Diverging Public Interpretations

1st Edition

Melissa Bender, Klara Szlezák

Routledge
October 17, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 256 Pages - 10 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367249489 - CAT# K423860
Series: Global Perspectives on Public History

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Summary

Against the backdrop of two recent socio-political developments—the shift from the Obama to the Trump administration and the surge in nationalist and populist sentiment that ushered in the current administration— Contested Commemoration in U.S. American History presents eleven essays focused on practices of remembering contested events in America’s national history.

This edited volume contains fresh interpretations of public history and collective memory that explore the evolving relationship between the U.S. and its past. The individual chapters investigate efforts to memorialize events or interrogate instances of historical sanitization at the expense of less partial representations that would include other perspectives. The primary source material and geography covered is extensive; contributors use historic sites and monuments, photographs, memoirs, textbooks, periodicals, music, and film to discuss the periods from colonial America, through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars up until the Vietnam War, Civil Rights movement, and Cold War, to explore how the commemoration of those eras resonates in the 21st century.

Through a range of commemoration media and primary sources, the authors illuminate themes and arguments that are indispensable to students, scholars and practitioners interested in Public History and American Studies more broadly.

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