Archive That, Comrade! Left Legacies and the Counter Culture of Remembrance

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by Phil Cohen

After a brief introduction that sets the contemporary scene of “archive fever,” this book considers the political legacy of 1960s counterculture for what it reveals about the process of commemoration. How far can the archive serve as a platform for dialogue and debate between different generations of activists in a culture that fetishizes the evanescent present, practices a profound amnesia about its counterfactual past, and forecloses the sociological imagination of an alternative future? Can the Left establish its own autonomous model of commemoration?