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Memory, Trauma, and History: Essays on Living with the Past Paperback – November 1, 2011
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Roth rules! A compulsive peeper into the corners of the historical past, he is the visual historian's historian. Not only because Roth is smart, not only because he finds odd things that captured people's attention in the past, not only because he is theoretically sophisticated without being dogmatic, but also because as a thinker and writer he is always able to engage his audience on every topic. (Sander L. Gilman, Emory University)
With critical agility and grace, Roth's life-affirming and judicious work urges us to absorb the critical lessons of postmodern irony and resist the lure of cold and superior sophistication in favor of efforts to find meaning in ever renewed inquiries into who we think we are and what we want to be. (Carolyn J. Dean, Brown University, author of Aversion and Erasure: The Fate of the Victim after the Holocaust)
In this excellent work, Roth provides sobering antidotes to recent hyperboles, claiming the most abject forms of victimization and trauma have recently become the ultimate forms of legitimation. A lucid, boldly interdisciplinary book, Roth's work will stimulate exchange among historians, critical theorists, literary critics, students of visual culture, and all readers concerned about the fate of liberal education. (Dominick La Capra, Cornell University)
This collection revises our normal conceptions of the relation between 'history' and 'the past.' Roth's essays challenge us to rethink the links among history, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and the body. (Hayden White, University of California, Santa Cruz)
exceptional and wide-ranging (Robert Eaglestone Times Higher Education)
Not only does it stand out as a profound interdisciplinary study on the multilayered facets of (collective) memory and its (re)construction, but it is in itself a valuable record of contemporary discourses on memory, since its essays were written over more than twenty years. (David Kerler Modern Language Review)
About the Author
Michael S. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University and the author of five books, including The Ironist's Cage: Trauma, Memory, and the Construction of History and Knowing and History: Appropriations of Hegel in Twentieth-Century France. He has also edited several books of intellectual and cultural history, and he curated an exhibition entitled Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture, which opened at the Library of Congress.