Silencing the Past
Power and the Production of History
By Michel-Rolph Trouillot
(Beacon Press, Paperback, 9780807043110, 216pp.)
Publication Date: July 30, 1997
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Placing the West's failure to acknowledge the most successful slave revolt in history alongside denials of the Holocaust and the debate over the Alamo, Michel-Rolph Trouillot offers a stunning meditation on how power operates in the making and recording of history.
Michel-Rolph Trouillot, one of the most prominent Haitian scholars in the United States, is director of the Institute for Global Studies in culture, Power, and History and Krieger/Eisenhower Distinguished Professor in anthropology at Johns Hopkins University.
Now that so many grand projects of the past are up for reappraisal, Michel-Rolph Trouillot interrogates history, to ask how histories are in fact produced. . . . A beautifully written book, exciting in its challenges. --Eric R. Wolf
"An accessible book filled with wisdom and humanity." --Bernard Mergen, American Studies International
"Aphoristic and witty, [Silencing the Past] shows that the two senses in which history is made, by doers and by tellers, meet in moments of evidentiary silence. [A] hard-nosed look at the soft edges of public discourse about the past." --Arjun Appadurai
"Trouillot is a first-rate scholar with provocative ideas. . . . His work [is] a feast for the mind." --Jay Freeman, Booklist
"Trouillot makes the postmodernist debate come alive." --Choice
"A sparkling interrogation of the past. . . . A beautifully written, superior book." --Foreign Affairs
"Elegantly written and richly allusive. . . Silencing the Past is an important contribution to the anthropology of history. Its most lasting impression is made perhaps by Trouillot's own voice--endlessly agile, sometimes cuttingly funny, but always evocative in a direct and powerful, almost poetic way." --Donald L. Donham, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
"Written with clarity, wit, and style throughout, this book is for everyone interested in historical culture."--Civilization
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