Featuring extraordinary personal accounts, this book provides a unique window through which to examine some of the great political changes of our time, and reveals both the potential and the challenge of narrating the political world. Molly Andrews' novel analysis of the relationship between history and biography presents in-depth case studies of four different countries, offers insights into controversial issues such as the explosion of patriotism in post -9/11 USA; East Germans' ambivalent reactions to the fall of the Berlin Wall; the pressures on victims to tell certain kinds of stories while testifying before South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and the lifelong commitment to fight for social justice in England. Each of the case studies explores the implicit political worldviews which individuals impart through the stories they tell about their lives, as well as the wider social and political context which makes some stories more 'tell-able' than others.
Molly Andrews is a Reader in the School of Social Sciences, Media and Cultural Studies and Co-director of the Centre for Narrative Research at the University of East London.
1. History, biography and political narratives; 2. Reflections on listening; 3. England: stories of inspiration; 4. The United States: narratives of patriotism; 5. East Germany: the contested story; 6. South Africa: told and untold stories; 7. Questions and endings.