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Oral history is inherently about memory, and when oral history interviews are used \u0022in public,\u0022 they invariably both reflect and shape public memories of the past. Oral History and Public Memories is the only book that explores this relationship, in fourteen case studies of oral history's use in a variety of venues and media around the world. Readers will learn, for example, of oral history based efforts to reclaim community memory in post-apartheid Cape Town, South Africa; of the role of personal testimony in changing public understanding of Japanese American history in the American West; of oral history's value in mapping heritage sites important to Australia's Aboriginal population; and of the way an oral history project with homeless people in Cleveland, Ohio became a tool for popular education. Taken together, these original essays link the well established practice of oral history to the burgeoning field of memory studies.
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"A fine, well-conceived book, refreshingly direct and engaged. A collection of sparkling essays that show oral history at work in a diverse array of contexts, levels, and engagements. They demonstrate powerfully its consequentiality for thinking clearly about meaningful intersections in public space, public life, community sensibility, and mobilized memory. This is no small accomplishment."
—Michael Frisch, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
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