Myth and history in European post-war history writing
Communities need history. History establishes what Paul Ricxur has called "the narrative identity of a culture" (Ricixur 1987, 276). The narration of what the community "lives through" is what constitutes identity over time. Through the narrative, the community stands out as a permanent entity despite all the changes it experiences. Narratives are made and told in the community. If narratives are broadly accepted by the community they become master narratives with a dominant status in a given society (Jarausch and Sabrow 2002, 16). Since the nineteenth century professional historians have played a decisive role in the making of master narratives; as Hobsbawm amusingly phrased it, historians are to national identity-building what poppy-growers are to heroin addicts (Hobsbawm 1990, 23).
Ifversen, J. (2011)., Myth and history in European post-war history writing, in M. Spiering & M. Wintle (eds.), European identity and the second world war, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 75-91.
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