Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 15, 1995 - History - 340 pages
5 Reviews
Because new nations need new pasts, they create new ways of commemorating and recasting select historic events. In Recovered Roots, Yael Zerubavel illuminates this dynamic process by examining the construction of Israeli national tradition.

In the years leading to the birth of Israel, Zerubavel shows, Zionist settlers in Palestine consciously sought to rewrite Jewish history by reshaping Jewish memory. Zerubavel focuses on the nationalist reinterpretation of the defense of Masada against the Romans in 73 C.E. and the Bar Kokhba revolt of 133-135; and on the transformation of the 1920 defense of a new Jewish settlement in Tel Hai into a national myth. Zerubavel demonstrates how, in each case, Israeli memory transforms events that ended in death and defeat into heroic myths and symbols of national revival.

Drawing on a broad range of official and popular sources and original interviews, Zerubavel shows that the construction of a new national tradition is not necessarily the product of government policy but a creative collaboration between politicans, writers, and educators. Her discussion of the politics of commemoration demonstrates how rival groups can turn the past into an arena of conflict as they posit competing interpretations of history and opposing moral claims on the use of the past. Zerubavel analyzes the emergence of counter-memories within the reality of Israel's frequent wars, the ensuing debates about the future of the occupied territories, and the embattled relations with Palestinians.

A fascinating examination of the interplay between history and memory, this book will appeal to historians, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and folklorists, as well as to scholars of cultural studies, literature, and communication.
  

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Review: Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition

User Review  - Alexandra Sundarsingh - Goodreads

Interesting, and somewhat frightening in its implications and subject matter, but not very interesting in its writing. Read full review

Review: Recovered Roots: Collective Memory and the Making of Israeli National Tradition

User Review  - hay man - Goodreads

congrats to israel for inventing an identity Read full review

Contents

PART ONE History Collective Memory and Countermemory
3
PART TWO The Birth of National Myths
39
The Bar Kokhba Revolt
48
The Fall of Masada
60
PART THREE Literature Ritual and the Invention of Tradition
79
Bar Kokhba the Bonfire and the Lion
96
Chapters The Rock and the Vow
114
Calendars and Sites as Commemorative Loci
138
PART FOUR Politics of Commemoration
147
The Bar Kokhba Revolt and the Meaning
178
Masada and the Meaning of Death
192
History Memory and Invented
214
Notes
239
Bibliography
299
Index
325
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