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Constructing a national past - Patrick Finney

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Constructing a national past - historiography, national identity and the origins of World War Two
Patrick Finney
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

'This is comparative history on a grand scale, skilfully analysing complex national debates and drawing major conclusions without ever losing the necessary nuances of interpretation.'

Stefan Berger, University of Manchester, UK

Remembering the Road to World War Two is a broad and comparative international survey of the historiography of the origins of the Second World War. It explores how, in the case of each of the major combatant countries, historical writing on the origins of the Second World War has been inextricably entwined with debates over national identity and collective memory.

Spanning seven case studies - the Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, the United States and Japan - Patrick Finney proposes a fresh approach to the politics of historiography. This provocative volume discusses the political, cultural, disciplinary and archival factors which have contributed to the evolving construction of historical interpretations. It analyses the complex and multi-faceted relationships between texts about the origins of the war, the negotiation of conceptions of national identity and unfolding processes of war remembrance.

Offering an innovative perspective on international history and enriching the literature on collective memory, this book will prove fascinating reading for all students of the Second World War.

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Patrick Finney teaches in the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, UK. He has published widely in the fields of twentieth century international history, history and theory and collective memory. Previous publications include (ed.) Palgrave Advances in International History (2005).

'... an important contribution to our understanding of how historical writing works, and how it is worked.' - English Historical Review

"Finney's book, then, is a triumph of the application of some aspects of postmodern theory to the practical business of writing history (...) it is also a major contribution to the modern schools of memory and identity studies." - Reviews in History

Keyword Index
World War, 1939-1945 - Historiography.
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