Book ID: CBB423759431

A Future in Ruins: UNESCO, World Heritage, and the Dream of Peace (2018)


Meskell, Lynn (Author)

Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 400
Language: English

Best known for its World Heritage program committed to "the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity," the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) wasfounded in 1945 as an intergovernmental agency aimed at fostering peace, humanitarianism, and intercultural understanding. Its mission was inspired by leading European intellectuals such as Henri Bergson, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, H. G. Wells, and Aldous and Julian Huxley. Oftencritiqued for its inherent Eurocentrism, UNESCO and its World Heritage program today remain embedded within modernist principles of "progress" and "development" and subscribe to the liberal principles of diplomacy and mutual tolerance. However, its mission to prevent conflict, destruction, andintolerance, while noble and much needed, increasingly falls short, as recent battles over the World Heritage sites of Preah Vihear, Chersonesos, Jerusalem, Palmyra, Aleppo, and Sana'a, among others, have underlined. A Future in Ruins is the story of UNESCO's efforts to save the world's heritage and, in doing so, forge an international community dedicated to peaceful co-existence and conservation. It traces how archaeology and internationalism were united in Western initiatives after the political upheavals ofthe First and Second World Wars. This formed the backdrop for the emergent hopes of a better world that were to captivate the "minds of men." UNESCO's leaders were also confronted with challenges and conflicts about their own mission. Would the organization aspire to intellectual pursuits thatcontributed to the dream of peace or instead be relegated to an advisory and technical agency? An eye-opening and long overdue account of a celebrated yet poorly understood agency, A Future in Ruins calls on us all to understand how and why the past comes to matter in the present, who shapes it, andwho wins or loses as a consequence.

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Authors & Contributors
Selcer, Perrin
Fox, Robert
Andersen, Caspar
Julio Cuenca Sanabria
Stefano Liberti
José De León
Studia Historiae Scientiarum
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Technology and Culture
Science in Context
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Journal of American History
Pavia University Press
Temple University
University of Chicago Press
UNESCO Publishing
International cooperation
Science and politics
Science and society
Science and culture
International relations
Peace movements
Truman, Harry S.
Needham, Joseph
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
19th century
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
United States
Great Britain
Canary Islands
United Nations
League of Nations

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