Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture

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Routledge, Jan 13, 2009 - History - 304 pages

Non-academic history – ‘public history’ – is a complex, dynamic entity which impacts on the popular understanding of the past at all levels.

In Consuming History, Jerome de Groot examines how society consumes history and how a reading of this consumption can help us understand popular culture and issues of representation. This book analyzes a wide range of cultural entities – from computer games to daytime television, from blockbuster fictional narratives such as Da Vinci Code to DNA genealogical tools – to analyze how history works in contemporary popular culture.

Jerome de Groot probes how museums have responded to the heritage debate and the way in which new technologies have brought about a shift in access to history, from online game playing to internet genealogy. He discusses the often conflicted relationship between ‘public’ and academic history, and raises important questions about the theory and practice of history as a discipline.

Whilst mainly focussing on the UK, the book also compares the experiences of the USA, France and Germany. Consuming History is an important and engaging analysis of the social consumption of history and offers an essential path through the debates for readers interested in history, cultural studies and the media.


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The new gardeningandthepublicityhistorian
Great Britons 22
Popular history in print 31
magazines 44
The historian inpopular culture49
hunting 65
Recycling cultureand reenactmentcultural re enactment 124
History games133
Role playing and historyasidentity 139
and Starkey 154
classic serial costume drama
and comedy 184 Adaptation and costume drama 185
Historical film 208

The historical as cultural genre 147
selfidentity and celebrity revelation 77 Roots identity genealogy and America 84
engines Wikipedia 93
Google Earth 98
Historical reenactment 105
WARS and theSealed Knot 105
anachronism faires
novels plays and comics 217
Museums and physical encounters withthe past 236
nostalgia isnt what itusedtobe248
Index 287

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About the author (2009)

Jerome de Groot teaches at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Royalist Identities (2004) and numerous articles on popular history, manuscript culture and the English civil war.

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