How does a society deal with a violent past? This question is answered in Teaching the Violent Past: History Education and Reconciliation, which examines the politics of how history is taught and the making of national identities and national memories following a conflict within a society.
Edited by Elizabeth (Lili) Cole, this book is copublished by the Carnegie Council and Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. It grew out of a five-year research project sponsored by the Carnegie Council.
In this volume, an international group of experts explore the slow process of reconciliation between former enemies and how the violent past is taught. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the book covers nine specific case studies in Germany, Japan, Canada, Northern Ireland, Guatemala, Spain, Russia, North and South Korea, and India and Pakistan.
"Cole provides an indispensable set of readings for anyone interested in learning how teaching history in the schools relates to healing after violence," says Sarah Freedman of the University of California at Berkeley. "Through their gathered chapters, the authors show how any nation's future relates to what the next generation learns about its past. Cole's collection offers a powerful synthesis of multi-national points of view, which, taken together, show how schools can reshape collective national identities and influence reconciliation."
Teaching the Violent Past is essential for anyone interested in conflict resolution, history education, and societies in transition. The case studies are carefully structured, well researched, and written in an easy-to-follow style. Educators, students, and policy makers will find this book invaluable, as will the general reader interested in how societies struggle to come to terms with their past.
Elizabeth Cole is assistant director of TeachAsia in the Education Division of Asia Society in New York City. As a senior program officer at the Carnegie Council from 2000 to 2005, she developed the History and Politics of Reconciliation Program. More information on the program can be found on the Council's website.
Teaching the Violent Past can be purchased by visiting Rowman & Littlefield or by phoning 800-462-6420. Copies purchased online will receive a special 15% discount!