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Commentators have often highlighted the conservative implications of both memory (with its tendency to foster backward-looking nostalgia) and mass culture (as a tool of domination and deception). But in this bold and original book, Alison Landsberg challenges those conventional assumptions and underlines instead the possibilities for a progressive politics of memory in our mass-mediated era. Through subtle and theoretically informed readings of autobiographies, novels, films, and museum exhibits about immigration, slavery, and the Holocaust, she shows us how what she revealingly calls 'prosthetic memories' can 'produce empathy and social responsibility as well as political alliances that transcend race, class, and gender.' This is must reading for anyone who cares about how we think about the past and why it matters in the present.
— Roy Rosenzweig, director, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University