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The struggle for the past : how we construct social memories , Worlds of memory, 6

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Jelin, Elizabeth. tr. by Wendy Gosselin Berghahn Books, 2021

  • 236p bibl index, 9781789207828 $120.00, 9781789207835 $29.95
  • LC Call Number: F

Over the past decade or so, memory studies has emerged as a hot topic of research. For those in the field, this book by Argentine sociologist Jelin (National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina) will be of much interest. Ethnographically, much of the discussion is rooted in Jelin’s native Argentina and other Southern Cone countries, in particular Chile. That is not incidental, as these countries suffered ferociously bloody and repressive dictatorships in the 1970s, leaving many citizens scared—hence the blossoming of literature as victims struggled to come to terms with those human rights abuses. The text is a translation of a volume that Siglo Veintiuno Editores, one of Latin America’s leading social science publishers, originally released in Argentina in 2017. It comprises eight essays that draw heavily on Jelin’s previous writings, which she has published over decades as a researcher, but are reworked for inclusion in this volume. Most interesting are editorial comments that Jelin includes before each essay to contextualize her discussion both historiographically and in terms of her own personal trajectory as a scholar-activist.

Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and faculty.

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