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Narrating our Pasts

Narrating our Pasts
The Social Construction of Oral History

$54.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Oral and Literate Culture

  • Date Published: June 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521484633
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$ 54.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Elizabeth Tonkin looks at how oral histories are constructed and how they should be interpreted. Her study is illustrated through a wide range of examples of memory, narration, and oral tradition, including many from Europe and the Americas, and with a particular focus on oral histories from the Jlao Kru of Liberia, with whom the author has carried out extensive research. She also draws on and integrates the insights of a range of disciplines, such as literary criticism, linguistics, history, psychology, and communication and cultural studies.

    • Tonkin offers a new alternative theory and methodology of oral history
    • Extremely well received in hardback, now available in paperback
    • 'A timely book. It brings together matters of current interest in recent works on memory, ethnohistory and orality.' Sociological Review 1994
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Tonkin provides a lucid discussion of how oral history is constructed....the strengths of the book are many....numerous illustrative examples from predominantly oral cultures in Africa as well as from industrialized Europe and America....perhaps the most significant feature of the book is its unified approach." Anthropological Linguistics

    "...this is a very thoughtful and delightful work, carefully argued, the fruit of wide reading and sustained thought....It is also a delight to read." Anthropos

    "...provocative, yet offered in an uncommonly unpretentious and engaging fashion. Her work is a welcome addition to the declining number of full-scale interpretations of oral historiography, by whatever name, and, although addressed primarily to anthropologists, it is worth historians' close attention as well." David Henige, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

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    Customer reviews

    18th Apr 2019 by Yutongyan

    that's really helpful to review the main content of this book! tha's cool

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 1995
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521484633
    • length: 192 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Note on orthography
    1. Jlao: an introductory case study
    2. The teller of the tale: authors and their authorisations
    3. Structuring an account: the work of genre
    4. Temporality: narrators and their times
    5. Subjective or objective
    6. Memory makes us, we make memory
    7. Truthfulness, history and identity

  • Author

    Elizabeth Tonkin, Queen's University Belfast

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