- The Oxford Handbook of Oral History
- Introduction: The Evolution of Oral History
- The Dynamics of Interviewing
- Those Who Prevailed and Those Who Were Replaced: Interviewing on Both Sides of a Conflict
- Interviewing in Cross-Cultural Settings
- Case Study: Oral History and Democracy: Lessons from Illiterates
- Memory and Remembering in Oral History
- Can Memory Be Collective?
- Case Study: Rome's House of Memory and History: The Politics of Memory and Public Institutions
- How Does One Win a Lost War? Oral History and Political Memories
- Disappointed Remains: Trauma, Testimony, and Reconciliation in Post-apartheid South Africa
- Case Study: Memory Work with Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa
- The Stages of Women's Oral History
- Race and Oral History
- Remembering in Later Life: Generating Individual and Social Change
- The Proust Effect: Oral History and the Senses
- After Action: Oral History and War
- Case Study: “Above all, we need the WITNESS”: The Oral History of Holocaust Survivor
- Case Study: Field Notes on Catastrophe: Reflections on the September 11, 2001, Oral History Memory and Narrative Project
- Doing Video Oral History
- Case Study: Opening Up Memory Space: The Challenges of Audiovisual History
- Achieving the Promise of Oral History in a Digital Age
- Oral History: Media, Message, and Meaning
- Messiah with the Microphone? Oral Historians, Technology, and Sound Archives
- Case Study: Between the Raw and the Cooked in Oral History: Notes from the Kitchen
- The Legal Ramifications of Oral History
- Ethical Challenges in the Oral History of Medicine
- The Archival Imperative: Can Oral History Survive the Funding Crisis in Archival Institutions?
- Case Study: The Southern Oral History Program
- Case Study: What is it That University-Based Oral History Can Do? The Berkeley Experience
- Toward a Public Oral History
- Motivating the Twenty-first-Century Student with Oral History
- Oral History in Universities: From Margins to Mainstream
- Case Study: Engaging Interpretation Through Digital Technologies
- Oral History in the Digital Age
Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on the importance of oral history in recording wars. The article draws on personal experiences of interviewing veterans of the Second World War. Oral history interviews illuminate the often-ignored experiences of ordinary people caught up in war and the range of reactions that different aspects of war evoked from them, while reminding us that combat—”the quintessential war experience”—is not the sole defining experience of war. Interviews that concentrate on combat experiences reflect a very narrow concept of war. Most of the time in uniform is actually spent out of action. Most servicemen and women are not in front-line units. This article also reminds us that one of the joys of oral history is that you always get so much more than you ask for. This article emphasizes that commemorating war is often a collective experience. By contextualizing the individual experience in the narrative of war, oral history adds texture to those collective narratives.
Megan Hutching is a freelance oral historian in Auckland, New Zealand. She has published a number of books using oral history interviews, including a six-volume series on New Zealanders in the Second World War.
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