Wednesday, 6 April 2016

History in Three Keys

History in Three Keys
The Boxers as Event, Experience and Myth
by Paul A. Cohen
Listed here on Amazon

An interesting read, giving some decent information on the potential causes of the Boxer movement. It also goes into limited detail on the measures taken by the government to suppress the Boxer movement in various places, and those flareups that were out of sight of most surviving westerners.

As much as anything, this book attempts to establish how history is recorded, interpreted, remembered, reinterpreted and often twisted to suit the needs of the day.

It's not a light read, being a record of the clear historical facts (the events), how it was recorded at the time, typically through the narrow focus of those caught up in it (the experience) and the uses to which the "history" of the period has been put by different people at different times (the myths). It's therefore a also good read about problems of recording and interpreting history in general, and the uses to which it is put.

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