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The Past in the Present

The Construction of Polish History

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Robert Traba

What do we remember from our national past and why? What are the dangers of history being (mis-)appropriated by politicians? Past in the Present provides a critical analysis of recent disputes over Polish historiography. The author uses theories of collective memory as a guideline, and the Polish-German borderlands as his leitmotif. Western academic currents and long-standing (and often forgotten) Polish intellectual traditions serve as backdrop. Throughout his work – with topics ranging from Golo Mann and Stefan Czarnowski to the «other side of memory» and the «political cult of the fallen» – Traba advocates modernization and «polyphony» in the construction of a new Polish history.
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About the book

About the book

Extract

What do we remember from our national past and why? What are the dangers of history being (mis-)appropriated by politicians? Past in the Present provides a critical analysis of recent disputes over Polish historiography. The author uses theories of collective memory as a guideline, and the Polish-German borderlands as his leitmotif. Western academic currents and long-standing (and often forgotten) Polish intellectual traditions serve as backdrop. Throughout his work – with topics ranging from Golo Mann and Stefan Czarnowski to the “other side of memory” and the “political cult of the fallen” – Traba advocates modernization and “polyphony” in the construction of a new Polish history.

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