Remaking America: Public Memory, Commemoration, and Patriotism in the Twentieth Century / Edition 1

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Overview

In a compelling inquiry into public events ranging from the building of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial through ethnic community fairs to pioneer celebrations, John Bodnar explores the stories, ideas, and symbols behind American commemorations over the last century. Such forms of historical consciousness, he argues, do not necessarily preserve the past but rather address serious political matters in the present.

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
Bodnar has made an insightful contribution to a lively area of contemporary cultural studies.... Anyone interested in the social meaning of public ceremonials will want to come to terms with this thoughtful book.
— Paul Boyer
The New York Times Book Review
Mr. Bodnar treats his highly controversial subject matter in a factual and evenhanded manner. And given the precariousness of nationality in recent times, interest in the subject of this important study is sure to increase.
— Ray Oldenburg
The New York Times Book Review - Ray Oldenburg
Mr. Bodnar treats his highly controversial subject matter in a factual and evenhanded manner. And given the precariousness of nationality in recent times, interest in the subject of this important study is sure to increase.
American Historical Review - Paul Boyer
Bodnar has made an insightful contribution to a lively area of contemporary cultural studies.... Anyone interested in the social meaning of public ceremonials will want to come to terms with this thoughtful book.
From the Publisher
"Mr. Bodnar treats his highly controversial subject matter in a factual and evenhanded manner. And given the precariousness of nationality in recent times, interest in the subject of this important study is sure to increase."—Ray Oldenburg, The New York Times Book Review

"Bodnar has made an insightful contribution to a lively area of contemporary cultural studies.... Anyone interested in the social meaning of public ceremonials will want to come to terms with this thoughtful book."—Paul Boyer, American Historical Review

"Bodnar is at his best in discussing varieties of public memory within ethnic groups, but the book also shines in its treatment of the post-World War II attempt to build a consensus in public memory and the rapid disintegration of that effort during the 1960s. A fine contribution to this emerging historical topic; for informed laypersons as well as specialists."—
Library Journal

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ideally, public recognition of a national past would include society's diverse elements in commemorative activities. Or so asserts University of Indiana history professor Bodnar in this relevant, readable social history. But as he tells it, the rise of an American industrial and cultural elite during the 20th century was accompanied by consolidation of a nation-state, federally strengthened by the two world wars and by the Cold War. The author charges that the U.S. employs symbols of ``pride and patriotism'' with which it seeks to unite citizens and preserve the political interests of its dominant social and economic class. However, notes Bodner, official interpretation of the past and present is now being challenged by racial, immigrant ethnic, regional and local interests, and by others seeking personal identification within the public memory. ``The present,'' the author concludes, ``is no longer seen as something that emerged neatly and purposefully from the past.'' Illustrations not seen by PW. Feb.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691034959
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 12/27/1993
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 318
  • Sales rank: 903,167
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.17 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Prologue: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial 3
Ch. 1 The Memory Debate: An Introduction 13
Ch. 2 Public Memory in Nineteenth-Century America: Background and Context 21
Ch. 3 The Construction of Ethnic Memory 41
Ch. 4 Commemoration in the City: Indianapolis and Cleveland 78
Ch. 5 Memory in the Midwest before World War II 113
Ch. 6 Memory in the Midwest after World War II 138
Ch. 7 The National Park Service and History 169
Ch. 8 Celebrating the Nation, 1961-1976 206
Conclusion: Subcultures and the Regime 245
Notes 255
A Note on Sources 285
Index 289
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