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Archive That, Comrade!
Archive That, Comrade!

Archive That, Comrade!

Left Legacies and the Counter Culture of Remembrance

KAIROS

HISTORY

160 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, EPUB, PDF

Trade Paper, $19.95 (US $19.95) (CA $26.95)

Publication Date: June 2018

ISBN 9781629635064

Rights: WOR X UK & EUR

PM Press (Jun 2018)

eBook

eBook Editions Available

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Overview

A fascinating examination of the politics of memory

After a brief introduction that sets the contemporary scene of "archive fever," this book considers the political legacy of 1960s counterculture for what it reveals about the process of commemoration. How far can the archive serve as a platform for dialogue and debate between different generations of activists in a culture that fetishizes the evanescent present, practices a profound amnesia about its counterfactual past, and forecloses the sociological imagination of an alternative future? Can the Left establish its own autonomous model of commemoration?

Reviews

"Has the Left got a past? And if so, is that past best forgotten? Who was it who said, 'Let the dead bury their dead?' Phil Cohen's book is a searing meditation on the politics of memory, written by someone for whom 'the '60s' are still alive–and therefore horrible, unfinished, unforgivable, tremendous, undead. His book brings back to life the William Faulkner cliché. The past for Cohen is neither dead nor alive. It's not even past, more's the pity." —TJ Clark, author, The Sight of Death

"This is Phil Cohen, the irrepressible agent-provocateur, at his majestic, top-ranking best: reminiscing, time-travelling, subverting easy nostrums too many of us buy into without a second's thought. With much care and beauty he explores how we have it within us to make the past live, looking all the while to the future. There is darkness here, but so too a tough intelligence. The street communard comes of age. But not too much." —Bill Schwarz, author, Memories of Empire

"In examining past, present and potential in archival practice and theory, Phil Cohen draws on his own activist past and the history of left politics since the 1960s, especially but not only in the UK, and brings to bear theories and arguments from a wide range of European thought. Politics and the personal weave in a continuing dance as he tells stories, classifies and analyses, and asks questions about what people remember and forget." —Anna Davin, History Workshop Journal

Author Biography

Phil Cohen played a key role in the London counterculture scene of the 1960s. Currently he is research director of LivingMaps, a network of activists, artists, and academics developing a creative and critical approach to social mapping.