A completely updated new edition of David Lowenthal's classic account of how we reshape the past to serve present needs.
The past remains essential - and inescapable. A quarter-century after the publication of his classic account of man's attitudes to his past, David Lowenthal revisits how we celebrate, expunge, contest and domesticate the past to serve present needs. He shows how nostalgia and heritage now pervade every facet of public and popular culture. History embraces nature and the cosmos as well as humanity. The past is seen and touched and tasted and smelt as well as heard and read about. Empathy, re-enactment, memory and commemoration overwhelm traditional history. A unified past once certified by experts and reliant on written texts has become a fragmented, contested history forged by us all. New insights into history and memory, bias and objectivity, artefacts and monuments, identity and authenticity, and remorse and contrition, make this book once again the essential guide to the past that we inherit, reshape and bequeath to the future.
Introduction; Part I. Wanting the Past: 1. Nostalgia: dreams and nightmares; 2. Time travelling; 3. Benefits and burdens of the past; Part II. Disputing the Past: 4. Ancients vs moderns: tradition and innovation; 5. The look of age: aversion; 6. The look of age: affection; Part III. Knowing the Past: 7. Memory; 8. History; 9. Relics; Part IV. Remaking the Past: 10. Saving the past: preservation and replication; 11. Replacing the past: restoration and re-enactment; 12. Improving the past; Epilogue: the past in the present.
'Dazzling and wide-ranging ... packed with vivid examples and a vast range of pithy quotations, and throughout expressed with verve and wit.' Robert Tombs, Evening Standard