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The Quest for the Lost Nation: Writing History in Germany and Japan in the American Century

Overview

Highly praised when published in Germany, The Quest for the Lost Nation is a brilliant chronicle of Germany's and Japan's struggles to reclaim a defeated national past. Sebastian Conrad compares the ways German and Japanese scholars revised national history after World War II in the shadows of fascism, surrender, and American occupation. Defeat in 1945 marked the death of the national past in both countries, yet, as Conrad proves, historians did not abandon national perspectives during reconstruction. Quite the ...

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Overview

Highly praised when published in Germany, The Quest for the Lost Nation is a brilliant chronicle of Germany's and Japan's struggles to reclaim a defeated national past. Sebastian Conrad compares the ways German and Japanese scholars revised national history after World War II in the shadows of fascism, surrender, and American occupation. Defeat in 1945 marked the death of the national past in both countries, yet, as Conrad proves, historians did not abandon national perspectives during reconstruction. Quite the opposite—the nation remained hidden at the center of texts as scholars tried to make sense of the past and searched for fragments of the nation they had lost. By situating both countries in the Cold War, Conrad shows that the focus on the nation can be understood only within a transnational context.

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Editorial Reviews

Monumenta Nipponica - Franziska Seraphim
“The Quest for the Lost Nation should be celebrated as the first book of its kind.”
Central European History
“An important examination of the context and content of historical scholarship in postwar Germany and Japan.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520259447
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Series: California World History Library Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sebastian Conrad is Professor of History at the European University
Institute in Florence. Conrad is also the author of Globalisation and Nation in Imperial Germany and has edited, together with Dominic Sachsenmaier, Competing Visions of World Order: Global Moments and Movements, 1880s-1930s.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Mapping Postwar Historiography in Germany and Japan 14

2 The Origin of the Nation: Bismarck, Meiji Ishin, and the Subject of History 31

3 The Nation as Victim: Writing the History of National Socialism and Japanese Fascism 78

4 The Invention of Contemporary History 123

5 The Temporalization of Space: Germany and Japan between East and West 171

6 History and Memory: Germany and Japan, 1945-2000 235

Notes 263

Bibliography 303

Acknowledgments 377

Index 379

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