Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The Past is a Foreign Country 0th Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521294805
ISBN-10: 0521294800
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$15.65
Condition: Used - Good
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Pages are smooth and clear, with minimal corner folds or creases. Minor page edge wear. Free of any labels or markings. Slight surface and edge wear to cover. *** Fast shipping direct from Amazon.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
37 Used from $0.12
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
More Buying Choices
4 New from $49.99 37 Used from $0.12

There is a newer edition of this item:

Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


The History Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) by DK
The History Book
A fascinating journey through the most significant events in history. Learn more | See related books
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The past reassures us and helps us to avoid mistakes. It also saps present purposes; tradition is a brake on progress. How we respond to the past, for better or worse, is the theme of this highly original, erudite survey by an American scholar based in London. We are incapable of leaving the past alone, Lowenthal maintains; nostalgia motivates youthful Elvis Presley impersonators and inspires a reverence for Art Deco. On the other hand, monuments may have only the slightest resemblance to the events or people they are meant to enshrine. Just as Lord Elgin dismantled the Parthenon, so today we uproot prehistoric relics; replicas and imitations color the aura of antiquity. A Midwestern laundromat sports a Viking warrior's face to conjure up ties to a mythic past. Over 100 photographs of buildings and objects, plus reproductions of paintings and sketches, illustrate artifacts from everyday life and history. In the Space Age, asserts Lowenthal, we're scarcely aware of the past at all, and that attitude may cancel our future. This imaginative book dislodges deeply held assumptions. February
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This book is splendid on nostalgia, too, and marvelous on those little bits and pieces from the vanished past which serve to legitimate and celebrate. Best of all to my mind, in an amazing array of illustrations, is the tacked-up timber Grecian pediment presiding over the shack which houses a branch of the Security Marine Bank of Madison, Wisconsin. It is, as you will see, a book which you will enjoy, if you know that the past attracts you, or if you think you are immune to its spell..." Washington Post Book World

"David Lowenthal gives us a new understanding of a univeral human experience by imaginatively refashioning the remains and records of the past in England and America from the Reanaissance to our own time...a significant milestone in the history of thought and culture." Merle Curti, University of Wisconsin
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 489 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521294800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521294805
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Almost encyclopedical in his treatment of Western cultures' relations to their past, Lowenthal gives the reader a roller-coster ride, from time travel fantasies to Viking logos in Minnesota. Lowenthal is more into exploring our relation to the past than debunking myths, thus being more open to the manifold ways we use the past than in his later book "The Heritage Crusade." One problem remains: Lowenthal's idea about the foreign-ness of the past, that we today have a different way of understanding the passing of time than our medieval ancestors, could have benefitted from more elaboration. Still, this is a masterpiece.
Comment 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I'm a grad student reading this for a class on 'heritage tourism.' I've enjoyed the flow of his sentences and the interesting images, but I agree with Kenneth (an earlier reviewer): when a hundred-page chapter can be summarized in one page, I've tended to skim quite a bit.

In our class we've read chapters 1,2,5, and 6, and that's made the book a lot more manageable! These chapters have focused on how modern people use the past for present needs, the issues that come with too much focus on the past, and just how we can know 'the past' (through collective history, individual memory, and tangible relics). Chapter 6 is one of the most interesting, as it emphasizes how we change the past (understood as a mental object we've created) through using it and twisting it to serve our purposes.

If you're running short on time, his table of contents and chapter headings are fairly extensive, so it's possible to get a good sense of the book by looking at it's skeleton. Plus, do make time to read at least ten pages or so to get a feel for his writing! If you're a literature sort of person, it's enjoyable and fluid in small doses. :-D
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on September 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a unique of study on how to understand history. I found it almost impossible to put down, and my reference point for touring historical sites and watching movies and televisons shows has been foreever altered. Highly recommended for its readability and fabulous bibliography and footnotes. A must read for anyone interested in history.
Comment 25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book is a tough read, but a very informative look into why we view history in the way we do.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is an ambitious effort. It is a comprehensive effort to understand how Humanity relates to, and makes use of the Past. And a central focus is that Past which is in cultural monuments and great creations.

I admit that reading this book I felt overwhelmed and confused by the multiplicity of categories and uses, by the variety of learning and connections. I seemed to lose my inner checkposts, my way of measuring whether what was being said was true to my experience, or not.

And here I felt the strong distinction between the 'public memory' which as I understand it is by and large the subject of the work, and the kind of private individual memory through which we interpret and give meaning to our own lives.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse