Composing Useful Pasts: History As Contemporary Politics
Publisher: State University of New York Press | ISBN: 0791446751 | edition 2000 | PDF | 176 pages | 1,79 mb
Composing Useful Pasts discusses how history is not a settled record of the dead past, but a poetic or imaginative creation stimulated by and focused on contemporary interests. Historical investigation is always and necessarily a selective reading of events. It is an interpretation that arises only because of some pressing question in the present--a question that can only be answered in terms that address the interests, concerns, and problems of contemporary readers. This book employs a postmodern philosophy of the human sciences to show the power of historical explanation in contemporary political life. It explores issues as diverse as the interpretation of the French Revolution, the influence of Greek heritage on Western culture, and the ongoing debate about America's founding principles.
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