From my list on why the past matters for the future.
Who am I?
I love stories, and as a child I found that some of the best and most powerful stories I ever heard were those that people told about the past. When I grew up, I pursued a career as an academic archaeologist and historian, and I am now Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Vienna. But while I am of course interested in the past, in recent years I have been increasingly thinking about the politics of the past as well. Why do we choose to celebrate some stories about the past and not others? I have found these books all useful in helping me to think through this.
Naoíse's book list on why the past matters for the future
Why did Naoíse love this book?
I first read this book as a student, and found it both radical and exciting to think that national identities, traditions, and even the existence of nations themselves were all invented, and so were also flexible and open to reinvention in the future.
I also loved that the examples were taken from Southeast Asia, where I have family roots. For a while I kept a worn second-hand copy in my student room, thinking it was my special discovery. I was almost disappointed to find that it is a standard text and very widely read.