> Skip to content

Against Remembrance will give you pause for thought: maybe forgetting is the greatest blessing we have.

In Against Remembrance, David Rieff provocatively argues that the business of remembrance, particularly of the great tragedies of the past, are policitised events of highly selective memory. Rather than ending injustices, as we expect it to, collective memory in so many cases dooms us to an endless cycle of vengeance. Humanity, he says, simply cannot cope with the true ambivalence of historical events. And if we remember only partially, how can our memories serve us, or our society, as well as we hope?


This is an essay of rare intellectual daring, erudition and emotional force.

Fiona Capp, The Age

Rieff has written one of those books that, whether it frustrates or pleases you, will leave you unable to resist discussing its contents with friends and strangers alike.

Josh Rosner, Canberra Times

… as a reporter in Bosnia, where he saw grudges half a millennium old turn to genocidal horror. His book is a cry from the heart for not just forgiving, but forgetting.

Rick Sullivan, Adelaide Advertiser

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    April 1, 2011

    Melbourne University Press

    192 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    April 1, 2011

    Melbourne University Press Digital

    192 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Also by David Rieff

A Bed For The Night


Introducing George The Poet
The Forgotten People
Advanced Australia
Imagining Futures
Am I Black Enough For You?
The Politics Of Suffering
No Mean Glasgow
The Racket
Made In Brighton
Leaving Dirty Jersey
The New Philanthropists
Fear of the Collar
World On Fire
Borstal Boy