National identity has been both a dream and a nightmare for historians. When they attempt to historicize the concept, it becomes a thick web of actors, motives, and unintended consequences. Exploring the “invention of tradition” underlying modern national identities proves an appealing but extremely difficult task.
When Cassiano dal Pozzo, the Pope’s personal assistant, returned to the Vatican from Spain in 1626, he brought with him a Mexican manuscript on natural history, the Libellus de medicinalibus Indorum herbis. The “herbal” was a marvelous Mexican manuscript containing illustrations of more than 180 plants. Commonly known as Codice de la Cruz-Badiano, it is considered the first illustrated survey of Mexican nature produced in the New World.
Remembering Pinochet’s Chile: On the Eve of London 1998 is the first book in Steve J. Stern’s trilogy entitled The Memory Box of Pinochet’s Chile. /> Stern’s trilogy studies the ways that Chileans have struggled to understand the collective trauma of the 1973 military coup and the repressive regime that resulted from it
Kern calls time and space the universal, “essential” realities through which humans perceive, experience and live life, and he uses them to understand historical change.