How Does One Win a Lost War? Oral History and Political Memories

Federico Lorenz

in The Oxford Handbook of Oral History

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780195339550
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940578 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 How Does One Win a Lost War? Oral History and Political Memories

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This article refers to the Malvian Wars to analyze how political memories are embedded in oral history. It provides a broader look at political memories as historical constructions, and a reflection on the place of historians in disputes over the past. All memories are political, but not all memories affect politics. In some cases, this is because they have been silenced, and in others because they remain in the individual sphere, and consequently are forgotten and disappear when their bearers die. Talking to others about their political memories can leads to conscious efforts to intervene in disputes over the past as a way of impacting upon the present. This article also tries to analyze the memories associated with dictatorship with special reference to political upheavals in Argentina. Memories of the Malvian wars are vividly captured in this article, and this is followed by a discussion on the idea of patriotic wars. An explanation about the place and importance of historians against this backdrop concludes this article.

Keywords: Malvian wars; political memories; oral history; historical constructions

Article.  8304 words. 

Subjects: Oral History

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