Silencing the Past (20th Anniversary Edition): Power and the Production of History

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9780807080535: Silencing the Past (20th Anniversary Edition): Power and the Production of History
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Foreword by Hazel V. Carby
 
A modern classic about power and the making of history, with a new foreword by a prominent scholar
 
Michel-Rolph Trouillot places the West’s failure to acknowledge the most successful slave revolt in history, the Haitian Revolution, alongside denials of the Holocaust and the debate over the Alamo and Christopher Columbus in this moving and thought-provoking meditation on how power operates in the making and recording of history. Silencing the Past analyzes the silences in our historical narratives, what is left out and what is recorded, what is remembered and what is forgotten, and what these silences reveal about inequalities of power. Weaving personal recollections from his lifetime as a student and teacher of history, Trouillot exposes forces less visible—but no less powerful—than gunfire, property, and political crusades. This twentieth-anniversary edition of Trouillot’s pioneering work features a new foreword from renowned scholar Hazel V. Carby that speaks to the continuing influence of Silencing the Past on the fields of anthropology, history, and African American, Caribbean, and postcolonial studies—as well as to the book’s unique pedagogical value as an introduction to historical analysis.

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Review:

"Now that so many grand projects of the past are up for reappraisal, Michel-Rolph Trouillot interrogates history, to ask how histories are, in fact, produced. . . . A beautifully written book, exciting in its challenges."
--Eric. R. Wolf

"An accessible book filled with wisdom and humanity."
--Bernard Mergen, American Studies International

"Aphoristic and witty, [Silencing the Past] shows that the two senses in which history is made, by doers and by tellers, meet in moments of evidentiary silence. . . . A hard-nosed look at the soft edges of public discourse about the past."
--Arjun Appadurai

"Written with clarity, wit, and style throughout, this book is for everyone interested in historical culture."
--American Historical Review

"[Trouillot was] a transformative presence in multiple fields [who] redefined the meaning of scholarship. . . . Trouillot taught us all how to read carefully, argue passionately, and write responsibly."
--Colin Dayan, Boston Review

About the Author:

Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1949-2012) was one of the most prominent Haitian scholars working in the United States. He was the director of the Institute for Global Studies in Culture, Power, and History and Krieger/Eisenhower Distinguished Professor in anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Hazel V. Carby is the Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies, professor of American studies, and director of the Initiative on Race, Gender and Globalization at Yale University.

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