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Publisher's Summary

Placing the West's failure to acknowledge the most successful slave revolt in history alongside denials of the Holocaust and the debates over the Alamo and Christopher Columbus, Michel-Rolph Trouillot offers a stunning meditation on how power operates in the making and recording of history. Presented here with a new foreword by renowned scholar Hazel V. Carby, Silencing the Past is an indispensable analysis of the silences in our historical narratives, of what is omitted and what is recorded, what is remembered and what is forgotten, and what these silences reveal about inequalities of power.

©1995 Michel-Rolph Trouillot; foreword copyright 2015 by Hazel V. Carby (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Trouillot taught us all how to read carefully, argue passionately, and write responsibly." ( Boston Review)

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What listeners say about Silencing the Past

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent analysis of the production of history.

This book analyzes records, lack of records, and how people employ records and scarcity of records. Initially it was a bit rough, hard to follow. But once the author moved into telling a story and then analyzing that narrative, it became easier to engage. This is a short book. However, I found myself pausing and rewinding often to sit with the concepts. This is a very helpful book for my doctoral research. I think it would be excellent for others who are also thinking critically about history, narrativity, and current social issues.

3 people found this helpful

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History Primer

Would you consider the audio edition of Silencing the Past to be better than the print version?

N/A I did not read the print.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It makes me think

Any additional comments?

Before you consider reading or listening to a History account, read or listen to this book! This book will make you change the way you view and read history. Think you understand a Historical event, time, or personage? Think again. This book forces you to make a paradigm shift as how to receive historical information, even your own! Just because you experienced it doesn't make it the true historical account. Before assessing blame, condemning players, or bestowing prestige and according accolades, read this book and get a better understanding on how to read, study and understand History. If I ever teach History, this book will be week ones required reading!

3 people found this helpful

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Dense, but brilliant

A perspective on history that has rarely been voiced so comprehensively. May take a few reads to fully understand, although I found listening to it much easier than reading it. The reader sounded like a white man, and I have to wonder why they didn't choose a Black man to narrate, since I assume the author, being from Haiti, was Black. Just wanted to bring it to attention.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing.

Educational and entertaining. If you like/love history you’ll be impressed with the author’s clarity, knowledge and honesty. It almost makes me come to the conclusion that the Truth is Relative. You can’t go wrong, pick it up you won’t regret it.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent content!!!

Very dense reading and informative, not for "light" or casual reading. Important concepts detailed and then defended... Important context fot anyone seeking to understand race relations and challenging Eurocentric narratives.

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Wonderful!

An important look into the creation of the historical record. What is silenced and why?

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  • TG
  • 04-15-21

Great insights

There are various angles to history. Prospective is one. It is the story told by the winner or history that dictates with story gets printed, and which don't.

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More relevant than ever.

With the state of the world in 2020, Thai book provides powerful insights into how to understand the history of how we’ve gotten here.

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Great For A Revisionist History

Had had to read this book for my Graduate level Historiography class. I generally don't care for Revisionist Histories, but this one was very open minded and well written.

It examines why some historical facts are better known than others and how cultures handle collective memory.

It's not an easy casual read, but good for upper level history classes.