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"James Wertsch makes an important contribution to the current discussion of collective memory...The book should be of major interest, not only to scholars in these disciplines, which include sociology, anthropology, rhetoric, philosophy, and history, but also to educators whose work focuses on educational history and international education." Nancy Nelson, Louisiana State University, Slavic Review
"...a thought-provoking and ultimately productive approach to the study of collective remembering, and a worthy effort at clarifying some of the definitional vagueness besetting the cottage industry of memory studies." Journal of Modern History
"Wertsch's new book on collective remembering should be an essential read for anyone interested in memory research....In order to understand memory we must understand the interplay between individual and collective memory, how our own narratives (memories) develop through this interplay. Wertsch's book is well-written, thought-provoking, and should be recommended to all students of memory." Human Nature Review
"...a marvelous resource for those of us struggling with how to think about collective memory." Contemporary Sociology
"In this interesting sociocultural analysis, Wertsch explores the conceptual parameters, development, and transmission of collective memory." Choice
This book draws on psychology, history, literary theory, semiotics, sociology, and political science to provide a comprehensive review of collective memory. It then outlines a particular formulation based on how narratives are produced by the modern state, and how they are consumed, or used by individuals. These issues are examined with the help of examples from the transformation Russia has undergone as it entered its post-Soviet phase. This setting provides a case study of how the state can lose control of collective memory and how memory can be regenerated in unique ways.