Questions about Reconstruction: The Old or The New

September 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Something that is always coming up in my research is what is meant by the word reconstruction. And more specifically, what did it mean in the aftermath of World War II? Of course it meant something different to most people. But generally views break down into two main, broad, categories.

1) reconstruction=looking to the past; literally reconstructing what was there before, to whatever extent possible

2) reconstruction=looking to the future; taking the opportunity to build something entirely new

I think these two categories can be applied to just about anything, including to our own personal lives. Am I the type of person who looks backward, even as I am striving to more forward, or is the past immediately forgotten, replaced by a new idea, goal, project, etc.? Or am I somewhere in between, wishy-washy, unsure, shifting?

After World War II, as with whatever time, place, event, or person you try to apply these ideas to, there is no single answer. Therein lies the tension of life, relationships, and history. Where have we been, where are we now, where are we going, and how are we going to get there?

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