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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2015  /  September 2015  /  The Past is a Foreign Country – Revisited

The Past is a Foreign Country – Revisited

David Lowenthal updates his 1985 classic

The Past is a Foreign Country – Revisited

Emeritus Professor David Lowenthal's new book, The Past Is a Foreign Country - Revisited, a successor to his classic 1985 account of man's attitudes to the past, is published this month by Cambridge University Press.

David revisits how we celebrate, expunge, contest and domesticate the past to serve present needs. He shows how nostalgia and heritage now pervade every facet of public and popular culture. A unified past, once certified by experts and reliant on written texts, has become a fragmented, contested history, forged by us all.

The book offers a guide to the past we inherit, reshape and bequeath to the future. It shows how rebellion against tradition has given rise to the modern cult of preservation and pervasive nostalgia. It reviews new ways of seeing and engaging with the past, ranging from from archaeology and museum display to re-enactments and The History Channel


David will be giving the concluding address at the symposium "Nostalgia: Historicising the Longing for the Past", at the German Historical Institute in London during 1-3 October.





The Past is a Foreign Country