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In Praise of Forgetting: Historical memory and its ironies by David Rieff

Reviewed by
June–July 2016, no. 382
Andrea Goldsmith reviews 'In Praise of Forgetting: Historical memory and its ironies' by David Rieff

In Praise of Forgetting: Historical memory and its ironies

by David Rieff

Yale University Press (Footprint), $36.95 hb, 145 pp, 9780300182798

In Praise of Forgetting: Historical memory and its ironies by David Rieff

Reviewed by
June–July 2016, no. 382

Over the past three decades, and particularly since the prime ministership of John Howard, there has been an extraordinary growth in the number of young Australians making the pilgrimage to Gallipoli. Most of these people have no ancestors among the 'fallen', but rather are following what has become a rite of passage for patriotic young Australians. Lest we forget, they intone. But what exactly is being remembered? And to what purpose is it being used? After all, until recently, few young people visited the site of this appalling military failure in which Australians were used as cannon fodder by their colonial masters. For that matter, until recently, flag-waving nationalism and loud-mouthed patriotism played little part in any aspect of Australian life.

Andrea Goldsmith reviews 'In Praise of Forgetting: Historical memory and its ironies' by David Rieff

In Praise of Forgetting: Historical memory and its ironies

by David Rieff

Yale University Press (Footprint), $36.95 hb, 145 pp, 9780300182798