Political Memoir

Political Memoir

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The genre of political memoir has a long history, from its origins in classical times through its popularity in the age of courts and cabinets to its ubiquity in modern mass cultures where retired politicians increasingly attract large and eager readerships for their revelations. Yet there is virtually no scholarly criticism which treats this complex form of literature as a distinct genre, fusing autobiographical, historical and political elements. The essays in this book draw together the collaborative findings of a team of British, European, American and Canadian scholars to present a pioneering historical and critical study of the genre of political memoir, analysing the development of its distinct functions and assessing leading memoirists in European, American, Canadian, Indian and Japanese societies. The editor, George Egerton, introduces the volume and surveys the principal features of the genre over its long history. Otto Pflanze analyses the memoirs of Bismarck; Robert Young, Milton Israel, Joshua Mostow and Robert Bothwell study the memoir literature of France, India, Japan and Canada respectively. Barry Gough and Tim Travers look at naval and military memoirists, while Zara Steiner, B.J.C. McKercher and Valerie Cromwell assess the memoirs of diplomats and their families. Leonidas Hill examines the memoirs of leading Nazis. John Munro, Francis Heller and Robert Ferrell convey inside information on the making of memoirs - notably by the Canadian Prime Ministers Diefenbaker and Pearson and the American President Truman. Stephen Ambrose assays Nixon as memoirist, while Janos Bak portrays the status of memoirists under totalitarian regimes. Wesley Wark and John Naylor analyse theproliferation of intelligence memoirs and government efforts to protect official secrets from the revelations of the candid memoirist. The principal findings reached by the contributors in their study of this problematic but influential genre are set out by the editor in the concluding chapter.Essays on the Politics of Memory George W. Egerton ... period, written from the same angle of argument as Phillips and Colby, tend to eschew the memoir format and embrace instead a historical narrative, leavened with personal anecdote.

Title:Political Memoir
Author:George W. Egerton
Publisher:Psychology Press - 1994


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