Item description for The Scripting of a National History: Singapore and Its Pasts by Hong Lysa & Jianli Huang...
Rather than being another narrative of Singapore history, The Scripting of a National History: Singapore and Its Pasts studies the constructed nature of the history endorsed by the state, blurring the distinction between what happened in the past, and how that past is made to be understood. The People's Action Party (PAP) government's unbroken mandate to rule has come in no small part from how it explains its lineage and record to the electorate. The power invested in various aspects of Singapore's history is thus examined in a consideration of the politics of both the past and present.
This book traces state discourses on Singapore history from the decision in the immediate independence period to recognise the nineteenth-century British acquisition of the island as its founding moment, to the 1980s and 1990s' 'Asian values' stage where an essentially Confucian heritage was recognised, as well as to an emphasis on the history of racial fragility and harmony in response to the threat of terrorism in the twenty-first century. Embedded within them is the story of the PAP as the heirs of the economic dynamics of pax Britannica, the morality and righteousness of the Chinese scholar-gentleman, and the firm hand that balances the interests of the majority Chinese, in particular against that of the minority Malay population.
The authors examine the underlying template of Singapore history, the negotiation with its immigrant past, and the popularization of history through conscripting national heroes. The chapters range from considering how political leaders claim to be historians by virtue of being the makers of history, to the vicissitudes undergone by two originally private homes turned into symbols of Singapore's Chinese modernity.
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Studio: Hong Kong University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.35 lbs.
Release Date May 15, 2008
Publisher Hong Kong University Press
ISBN 9622098835 ISBN13 9789622098831