Review Of "Collective Memory Of Political Events: Social Psychological Perspectives" Edited By J. W. Pennebaker, D. Paez, And B. Rimé

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The concept of collective memory represents a catalytic challenge to the traditional presumption of memory as a strictly psychological phenomenon. The present volume is a remarkable compilation of contributions to the topic, especially as it concerns memory of political events. The work is remarkable first because of the range of standpoints included (variously emphasizing societal, group, discursive, and psychological processes); and second, by virtue of the international scope of its contributors (with authors from ten nations). As a result, the editors successfully open the study of collective memory to broad, interdisciplinary dialogue. For example, the reader is treated to theory and research concerning generational and transgenerational shifts in collective memory, along with often careful analyses of the significance of the emotions, social sharing, art, monuments, and news reporting as they variously influence the creation, transformation, and demise of collective memory. Unfortunately, the book lacks the kind of integrative conclusion that would allow this heterogeneous collection to be digested. Readers will nevertheless find it wonderfully rich and refreshing. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.


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