An acknowledged authority on German history and memory, Alon
Confino presents in this volume an original critique of the
relations between nationhood, memory, and history, applied to the
specific case of Germany. In ten essays (three never before
published and one published only in German), Confino offers a
distinct view of German nationhood in particular and of nationhood
in general as a product of collective negotiation and exchange
between the many memories that exist in the nation.
The first group of essays centers on the period from 1871 to 1990
and explores how Germans used conceptions of the local, or
, to identify what it meant to be German in a century
of ideological upheavals. The second group of essays
comprehensively critiques and analyzes the ways laypersons and
scholars use the notion of memory as a tool to understand the past.
Arguing that the case of Germany contains particular
characteristics with broader implications for the way historians
practice their trade, Germany as a Culture of Remembrance
examines the limits and possibilities of writing history.