By David Lowenthal
Background, whereas it frequently constitutes and defines the main features of tradition, is a malleable physique of old textual content topic to interpretation and simply twisted into delusion. whilst it's appealed to on a countrywide or ethnic point in reactions opposed to racial, spiritual, or monetary oppression, the result's usually highly-charged political rivalry or clash. the extreme subject of this special publication is how the increase of a manifold, crusade-like obsession with culture and inheritance--both actual and cultural--can bring about both sturdy or evil. In a balanced account of the professionals and cons of the rhetoric and spoils of heritage--on the single hand cultural identification and cohesion, at the different, power holy war--David Lowenthal discusses the myriad makes use of and abuses of old appropriation and provides a unprecedented and obtainable account of an idea straight away common and fraught with complexity. David Lowenthal is Emeritus Professor of Geography at college university London, and the writer of the bestselling The previous is a international state (Cambridge, 1985)
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Extra resources for The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History
26 Sanctuaries that used to be exclusively elite now cater to the hoi polloi. 2 million (card collectors spend $2 billion annually). The generals and grandees glowering along the walls of Britain s National Portrait Gallery are now outfaced by grinning athletes, pop stars, and media celebrities. To be sure, some decry such plebeian trends. " carped a critic in 1993, when England's National Trust was bequeathed a Victorian semidetached house in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, that had been kept in a time warp for sixty years by its reclusive tenants.
This chapter reviews what legatees and legators seek from each other, why legacy aims change, and how personal bequests link—or conflict—with public endowment. T H E BLESSINGS OF INHERITANCE In the narrow legal sense, we normally inherit on the death of parents or other kin. But their bequests are only a fraction of a larger legacy of teachings, precepts, and habits drummed into or emulated by us since infancy. These hopes, fears, and customs reach us throughout life. They come not only from progenitors but from myriad mentors and models.
In 1980s France, a Socialist regime legitimated a wide range of working-class legacies. "28 Populist in theory since the Revolution, American heritage became visibly proletarian after the Civil War, when (as noted in Chapter 6), George Washington got repackaged from austere aristocrat into common man. Australians zealously promote the folk past with museums dwelling 16 • The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History on migration and newcomers, the poor and homeless, and events within living memory.