In recent decades memory has become increasingly important in the public sphere, but at the same time history has become progressively less relevant in shaping our knowledge and awareness of the past. This process has been further emphasised by the active role of politics and institutions in creating “memory laws”, “memory sites”, monuments and memorials. Mass media, literature, cinema and television also contribute to interpretations of the past that do not necessarily reflect historical narratives that are respectful of the truth. This book explores the contradictory and complex relationship between history and memory, as regards Italy, Europe and an increasingly globalized world. There emerges a tendency to sacrifice the past in order to draw attention to the present, to perceive the past in light of our current needs.
Marcello Flores formerly taught at the University of Siena.