The Politics of Commemoration

  • Patrick H. Hutton


Practices of commemoration served as the first topic to attract historians’ attention. I review the theories advanced in the widely read studies by Benedict Anderson on the concept of the “imagined community” and by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger on the notion of the “invented tradition.” These serve as a point of departure for my assessment of four leading studies on national commemorative remembrance: George Mosse on the cult of thee fallen soldier in Germany; Yael Zerubavel on places of memory in the construction of Israeli national identity; Jean-Marc Largeaud on the battle of Waterloo in its idealization in both memory and history; and Jay Winter on the wide array of practices of historical remembrance of World War I. I close with some common denominators in these studies.


Commemoration Historical remembrance Imagined community Invented tradition War and remembrance 

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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick H. Hutton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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