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Realms of Memory: The Construction of the French Past, Vol. 2- Traditions 0th Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0231106344
ISBN-10: 0231106343
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This unusual book deals fascinatingly with everything from the creation of the rousing anthem "La Marseillaise" to the changing role of Joan of Arc in France's collective memory. Even the Eiffel Tower shines forth in surprising new facets." -- "Chicago Tribune"

"A magisterial attempt to define what it is to be French." -- "Times Literary Supplement"

"A magnificent achievement.... [The essays included] are the high-carat jewels of the project." -- "The New Republic"

"This is an indispensable guide to understanding France and the French. As usual, Arthur Goldhammer's translation is superb." -- "Foreign Affairs"

"A magnificent achievement.... ÝThe essays included¨ are the high-carat jewels of the project." -- "The New Republic"

"A magisterial attempt to define what it is to be French." -- Times Literary Supplement

"A magnificent achievement.... [The essays included] are the high-carat jewels of the project." -- The New Republic

"This is an indispensable guide to understanding France and the French. As usual, Arthur Goldhammer's translation is superb." -- Foreign Affairs

"This unusual book deals fascinatingly with everything from the creation of the rousing anthem "La Marseillaise" to the changing role of Joan of Arc in France's collective memory. Even the Eiffel Tower shines forth in surprising new facets." -- Chicago Tribune

"A magisterial attempt to define what it is to be French." -- "Times Literary Supplement"

"A magnificent achievement.... [The essays included] are the high-carat jewels of the project." -- "The New Republic"

"This is an indispensable guide to understanding France and the French. As usual, Arthur Goldhammer's translation is superb." -- "Foreign Affairs"

"This unusual book deals fascinatingly with everything from the creation of the rousing anthem "La Marseillaise" to the changing role of Joan of Arc in France's collective memory. Even the Eiffel Tower shines forth in surprising new facets." -- "Chicago Tribune"

"Provides arresting genealogies of a number of the major cleavages in French history, with chapters on the embattled relationship of Jews to the French republic, the peculiar affinities of Gaulism and Communism, and... Paris' haughty condescension toward la province.... Without resorting to polemics, the volume reminds us that the image of the French past is confected as much out of amnesia as out of memory." -- "Lingua Franca"

From the Back Cover

Realms of Memory, the three-volume English-language edition of Pierre Nora's critically acclaimed Lieux de Memoire, translates the vicissitudes of national self-consciouness and the meanings and disjunctions associated from past events into a unique and incisive portrait of a nation.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 643 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231106343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231106344
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,662,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ray TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This acclaimed work of the 1980's and 1990's, which took over a decade to assemble and is composed of contributions by scores of expert authors, sets out to describe how the French people have "constructed" their history through symbols, allusions, and associations, and then have subsequently shifted that constructed memory into the modern public consciousness. The series, which took up seven volumes in the original French, has been routinely described as "monumental," and there can be little doubt that this description is completely correct due to its size, scope, and coverage. But it is not just its size and scope that make the work "monumental." This is a set that is also superbly written by authors who have uniquely and expert knowledge of the subject matter, and the choice of topics, and the depth into which each is examined, easily makes this a de-facto standard work for anyone today wishing to have a true understanding of how the French themselves define what it means to be "French." It is certainly Pierre Nora's magnum opus, and if you possess anything more than a passing interest in French history, "Frenchness," and French semiotics, you will not want to pass on this work.

The current English translation here is, unfortunately, taken from a subset of the original seven volumes, reduced to three large volumes. Nora defends the reduction as maintaining the spirit of the original, in spite of the collection's selection list from the larger original. He may be right. But it is nevertheless unfortunate that the complete set was not translated into English.
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