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Mickey Mouse History and Other Essays on American Memory

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
This is a book about why history matters. It shows how popularized historical images and narratives deeply influence Americans' understanding of their collective past. A leading public historian, Mike Wallace observes that we are a people who think of ourselves as having shed the past but also avid tourists who are on a 'heritage binge,' flocking by the thousands to Ellis ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 23rd 1996 by Temple University Press
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Apr 08, 2016 Jan rated it did not like it
Shelves: history
Mike Wallace, in his book Mickey Mouse History and Other Essays on American Memory has three basic themes:
1. History is best done by doing sociology.
2. Reagan is a poopy-head.
3. KARL MARX!!!1!1!!!!1

As you can see, I am having a terrible time taking anything that he says seriously. He isn’t saying anything that we have not read before, but he says it with such left-wing vehemence that his politics become the focus of the book rather than his ideas on how to interpret history. At least one review
Oct 10, 2008 Abby rated it really liked it
Eye-opening essay on how Disney, museums, parks, etc. not only display history, but interpret (define?) the culture in Americana. By their choices of what to display, how they display them, and the descriptions given, they emphasize certain aspects of society and culture while giving a rose-colored glasses or inspirational/what to strive for message. Using Disneyland's theme park, Henry Ford's park, and others, Wallace explains the image portrayed and how that image can warp perception and ...more
Feb 16, 2011 Tracy rated it liked it
Interesting...but not riveting. Many of the topics covered like how historical sites deal with controversy, how they address interpretation, etc were interesting...but others were just the author getting up on his soapbox and streaming his displeasure at things.
Oct 14, 2008 Jihemmin is currently reading it
Compelling writing, great discussion of America's selective writing/popularizing of history. Totally worth a read.
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