Silencing the Past (Michel-Rolph Trouillot) pdf, epub, doc

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If Marx, Foucault, and Howard Zinn wrote a book together, it would probably look something like Michel-Rolph Trouillot's Silencing the Past. This isn't a slur, though; as you can tell from my five-star rating, I obviously appreciated the book, its author's cobbled personal reflections plus broader historical claims, and its humanity. Part of me wonders why this book isn't as well known (at least in my literary circles) as, say, Foucault's Discipline and Punish or Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities, but I guess I already know the answer: Usually when people want to learn about the nineteenth century and the consolidation of Althusserian "ideological apparatuses" like the school, the prison, the concept of nationality, or the field of history, they'd rather read about white American and European countries than about Haiti. I suppose it's true that in the fifteen years since this book's publication several of Trouillot's claims have become so mainstreamed they read a bit like clichés. You probably already know that Columbus Day celebrations vaunt a celebrity Columbus the 15th century wouldn't have recognized. You probably already know that comparatively enfranchised people are more likely to leave traces of their purchases, their properties, their marriages, etc., than their disenfranchised comrades, and thus the history of any society tends to be the history of that society's rich and educated. Still, you should read the book for its methodological framework, its author's diary-like chapter-starters, and plenty of other reasons. Very highly recommended.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Beacon Press
  • File: 3.9 Mb
  • Ganre: History
  • Release: 03.07.1997
  • ISBN: 9780807043110
  • Pages 216
  • Rating: 4.28 (620 votes)

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