This book examines the commonalities and differences in national collective memories of D-Day. Chapters cover the main forces on the day of battle, including the United States, Great Britain, Canada, France and Germany. In addition, a chapter on Russian memory of the invasion explores other views of the battle. The overall thrust of the book shows that memories of the past vary over time, link to present-day needs, and, despite the impact of transnational globalization, such memories also still have a clear national and cultural specificity. Simply put, memories of D-Day have diverged according to time, place, and national culture.
These memories arise in a multitude of locations such as film, books, monuments, anniversary celebrations, and news media representations. Rather than simply drawing on a series of “facts” about the past, the attribution of specific meanings and themes to this battle show how individuals, groups, and even nations draw on the past to validate the present and chart a course for the future. As with most expressions of cultural power, though, contests over these meanings abound, and the struggles, changes, and even continuities in memory over time all offer profound insights into these various societies in the decades since the battle itself concluded.
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Published by University of North Texas Press