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The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of Historyby David Lowenthal
Synopses & Reviews
Heritage, while it often constitutes and defines the most positive aspects of culture, is a malleable body of historical text subject to interpretation and easily twisted into myth. When it is appealed to on a national or ethnic level in reactions against racial, religious, or economic oppression, the result is often highly-charged political contention or conflict. The extraordinary theme of this unique book is how the rise of a manifold, crusade-like obsession with tradition and inheritance--both physical and cultural--can lead to either good or evil. In a balanced account of the pros and cons of the rhetoric and spoils of heritage--on the one hand cultural identity and unity, on the other, potential holy war--David Lowenthal discusses the myriad uses and abuses of historical appropriation and offers a rare and accessible account of a concept at once familiar and fraught with complexity. David Lowenthal is Emeritus Professor of Geography at University College London, and the author of the bestselling The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge, 1985)
A paperback edition of a critically-acclaimed study of the meaning and effects of 'Heritage'.
A study of the meaning and effects of "Heritage".
In this acclaimed book David Lowenthal explains the rise of the new obsession with â€˜heritageâ€™and the past, and examines its power for both good and evil.
Heritage has burgeoned over the past quarter of a century from a small élite preoccupation into a major popular crusade. Everything from Disneyland to the Holocaust Museum, from the Balkan wars to the Northern Irish Troubles, from Elvis memorabilia to the Elgin Marbles bears the marks of the cult of heritage. In this acclaimed book David Lowenthal explains the rise of this new obsession with the past and examines its power for both good and evil.'Timely and provocative...brilliant and stimulating pyrotechnic...everything from the Pilgrim Fathers to the Inuits, from Homer's Greece to the rainforests of Brazil.' Roy Strong, The Sunday Times'...entertaining and enthralling...' Ben Pimlott, The Guardian
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Heritage ascendant; 2. Personal legacies; 3. Collective legacies; 4. Heritage assailed; 5. The purpose and practice of history; 6. The purpose of heritage; 7. The practice of heritage; 8. Being first; 9. Being innate; 10. Rivalry and restitution.
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