in praise of forgetting historical memory and its ironies

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In Praise Of Forgetting

Author : David Rieff
ISBN : 9780300186666
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 89. 85 MB
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The conventional wisdom about historical memory is summed up in George Santayana’s celebrated phrase, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Today, the consensus that it is moral to remember, immoral to forget, is nearly absolute. And yet is this right? David Rieff, an independent writer who has reported on bloody conflicts in Africa, the Balkans, and Central Asia, insists that things are not so simple. He poses hard questions about whether remembrance ever truly has, or indeed ever could, “inoculate” the present against repeating the crimes of the past. He argues that rubbing raw historical wounds—whether self-inflicted or imposed by outside forces—neither remedies injustice nor confers reconciliation. If he is right, then historical memory is not a moral imperative but rather a moral option—sometimes called for, sometimes not. Collective remembrance can be toxic. Sometimes, Rieff concludes, it may be more moral to forget. Ranging widely across some of the defining conflicts of modern times—the Irish Troubles and the Easter Uprising of 1916, the white settlement of Australia, the American Civil War, the Balkan wars, the Holocaust, and 9/11—Rieff presents a pellucid examination of the uses and abuses of historical memory. His contentious, brilliant, and elegant essay is an indispensable work of moral philosophy.

In Praise Of Forgetting

Author : David Rieff
ISBN : 9780300182798
Genre :
File Size : 56. 88 MB
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A leading contrarian thinker explores the ethical paradox at the heart of history's wounds

Against Remembrance

Author : David Rieff
ISBN : 9780522860245
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 48. 67 MB
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In Against Remembrance, David Rieff provocatively argues that the business of remembrance, particularly of the great tragedies of the past, are policitised events of highly selective memory. Rather than ending injustices, as we expect it to, collective memory in so many cases dooms us to an endless cycle of vengeance. Humanity, he says, simply cannot cope with the true ambivalence of historical events. And if we remember only partially, how can our memories serve us, or our society, as well as we hope?

The Great War And The Origins Of Humanitarianism 1918 1924

Author : Bruno Cabanes
ISBN : 9781107020627
Genre : History
File Size : 58. 4 MB
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Pioneering study of the transition from war to peace and the birth of humanitarian rights after the Great War.

The Reproach Of Hunger

Author : David Rieff
ISBN : 143912387X
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 60. 53 MB
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In a groundbreaking book, based on six years of on the ground reporting, expert David Rieff offers a masterly review about whether ending extreme poverty and widespread hunger is within our reach as increasingly promised. Can we provide enough food for 9 billion (2 billion more than today) in 2050, especially the bottom poorest in the Global South? Some of the most brilliant scientists, world politicians, and aid and development persons forecast an end to the crisis of massive malnutrition in the next decades. However, food rights campaigners (many associated with green parties in both the rich and poor world) and traditional farming advocates reject the intervention of technology, biotech solutions, and agribusiness. Many economists predict that with the right policies, poverty in Africa can end in twenty years. “Philanthrocapitalists” Bill Gates and Warren Buffett spend billions on technology to “solve” the problem, relying on technology. Rieff, who has been studying and reporting on humanitarian aid and development for thirty years, puts the claims of both sides under a microscope and asks if any one of these efforts will solve the crisis. He cites climate change, unstable governments that receive aid, the cozy relationship between the philanthropic sector and agricultural giants like Monsanto and Syngenta, that are often glossed over. The Reproach of Hunger is the only book to look at this debate refusing to take the cherished claims of either side at face value. Rieff answers a careful “yes” to this crucial challenge to humanity’s future. The answer to the central question is yes, if we don’t confuse our hopes with realities and good intensions with capacities.

The Collective Memory Reader

Author : Jeffrey K. Olick
ISBN : 0195337417
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 81. 39 MB
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There are few terms or concepts that have, in the last twenty or so years, 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 atthe centers of power and on the front pages of the world's leading newspapers. The current efflorescence of interest in memory, however, is no mere passing fad: it is a hallmark characteristic of our age and a crucial site for understanding our present social, political, and cultural conditions.Scholars and others in numerous fields have thus employed the concept of collective memory, sociological in origin, to guide their inquiries into diverse, though allegedly connected, phenomena. Nevertheless, there remains a great deal of confusion about the meaning, origin, and implication of theterm and the field of inquiry it underwrites.The Collective Memory Reader presents, organizes, and evaluates past work and contemporary contributions on the questions raised under the rubric of collective memory. Combining seminal texts, hard-to-find classics, previously untranslated references, and contemporary landmarks, it will serve as anessential resource for teaching and research in the field. In addition, in both its selections as well as in its editorial materials, it suggests a novel life-story for the field, one that appreciates recent innovations but only against the background of a long history.In addition to its major editorial 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. In addition to the essay introducing the entire volume, a brief editorial essay introduces each of the sections, while brief capsules frame each of the 91 texts.

History And Memory

Author : Geoffrey Cubitt
ISBN : 0719060788
Genre : History
File Size : 76. 48 MB
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In recent years, "memory" has become a central and controversial concept in historical studies. It is a term that denotes a new and distinctive field of study and a fresh way of conceptualizing history as a more general field of inquiry. This book provides historians with an accessible and stimulating introduction to debates and theories about memory and approaches to the study of it in history and other disciplines. The book explores the relationships between the individual and the collective, between memory as survival and memory as reconstruction, between remembering as a subjective experience and as a social or cultural practice, and between memory and history as modes of retrospective knowledge.

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