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Performing the Past is an investigation of the multiple social and culture practices through which Europeans have negotiated the space between their history and their memory over the past 200 years. In museums, in opera houses, in the streets, in the schools, in theatres, in films, on the internet and beyond, narratives about the past circulate today at a dizzying speed. Producing and selling them is big business; if the past is indeed a foreign country, there are tens of thousands of tourist agents, guides, and pundits around to help us on our way, for a fee, to be sure.This collection of essays by renowned scholars from, among others, Yale, Columbia, Amsterdam Oxford, Cambridge, New York University and the European University Institute in Florence, is essential reading for anyone interested in today’s memory boom. Drawing on different national and disciplinary traditions, the authors ultimately engage us with the ways in which Europeans continue a venerable tradition of finding out who they are, and where they are going, by performing the past.