Contesting History is an authoritative guide to the positive and negative applications of the past in the public arena and what this signifies for the meaning of history more widely. Using a global, non-Western model, Jeremy Black examines the employment of history by the state, the media, the national collective memory and others and considers its fundamental significance in how we understand the past.
Moving from public life pre-1400 to the struggle of ideologies in the 20th century and contemporary efforts to find meaning in historical narratives, Jeremy Black incorporates a great deal of original material on governmental, social and commercial influences on the public use of history. This includes a host of in-depth case studies from different periods of history around the world, and coverage of public history in a wider range of media, including TV and film. Readers are guided through this material by an expansive introduction, section headings, chapter conclusions and a selected further reading list. Written with eminent clarity and breadth of knowledge, Contesting History is a key text for all students of public history and anyone keen to know more about the nature of history as a discipline and concept.
Contesting History's greatest strength lies in its placing the nation-state back on center stage in the field of public history and in lucidly demonstrating public history's long entanglement with the rise of the nation-state. The book presents a powerful corrective to narrower accounts of public history that cast the field as a product of the twentieth century or late-twentieth-century academe, and it will be a valuable text for students, academics, public history practitioners, and communities. * American Historical Review *
A valuable study on use of history that is recommended not only for academic historians, but also representatives of the "history in public space". * Czasy Nowozytne: "Modern Times" journal (Bloomsbury translation) *
Black (Univ. of Exeter, UK) examines how history is "being used to serve interests and agendas" that are largely set by states. His is one of the few public history texts that seek to be comparative in nature, using wide-ranging cases from Argentina to Zimbabwe, seeking to avoid the approach of "a small number of well-ventilated examples. * CHOICE *
Well written and very engaging. Pitched well at undergraduates. * Claire Hubbard-Hall, Bishop Grosseteste University, UK *
Preface Prologue: The National Museum of Malaysia 1. Introduction 2. The State, the Private Sector, and Academe 3. The Public Life of the Past to 1400 4. Historicising New Beginnings, 1400-1650 5. 'Ancien Regime' and 'Enlightenment', 1650-1775 6. History in an Age of Revolutions, 1775-1815 7. The Nineteenth Century: Nationalism and Public Education 8. The Twentieth Century: The Struggle of Ideologies 9. Post 1990: Searching for Meaning 10. Post 1990: History Wars 11. Into the Future 12. Conclusions 13. Postscript Selected Further Reading Index