Myth and Memory in the Construction of CommunityHistorical Patterns in Europe and BeyondBo Stråth (ed.)
Across and beyond Europe, history is being rewritten in the wake of the Cold War's dissolution. An example of this process is the reevaluation of the part played by resistance movements during World War II in country after country. This book deals with the role of myth and memory in the formation of collective identities with a particular emphasis on national identities. Myth and memory should not be seen as clearly demarcated from history. They are history in ceaseless transformation and reconstruction, the image of the past is continuously reconsidered and reconstituted in the light of an ever-changing present.
History is an interpretation of the past; not the past as it really was. The key question of this book concerns the role myth and memory play in the construction of communities, and what the distinction between collective myth and memory signifies. The discussion of this question is undertaken in theoretically oriented chapters as well as 15 case studies of national patterns from Scandinavia in the north to Italy and Israel in the south, and from the USA in the west to Russia in the East, as well as local community constructions in working-class districts in Glasgow and Roubaix and the national politics of architecture in Berlin and Rome.