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Histories of Nations: How Their Identities Were Forged



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This is the 00 edition with a publication date of 3/17/2013.
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Global histories tend to be written from the narrow viewpoint of asingle author and a single perspective, with the inevitable bias that itentails. But in this thought-provoking collection, twenty-eight writersand scholars give engaging, often passionate accounts of their ownnation's history. The countries have been selected to represent everycontinent and every type of state: large and small; mature democraciesand religious autocracies; states that have existed for thousands of yearsand those born as recently as the twentieth century. Together they containtwo-thirds of the world's population.In the United States, for example, the myth of the nation's historylessnessremains strong, but in China history is seen to play a crucialrole in legitimizing three thousand years of imperial authority. Historywars over the content of textbooks rage in countries as diverse asAustralia, Russia, and Japan. Some countries, such as Iran or Egypt, areblessed-or cursed-with a glorious ancient history that the presentcannot equal; others, such as Germany, must find ways of approachingand reconciling the pain of the recent past.

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