Ignoring 'History from below': People's History in the Historiography of Singapore

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The history of Singapore is widely understood as a history of its economic success. From its heyday as a nexus of trade during the imperial era to the ‘technotropolis’ that boasts high living standards for most of its citizens, Singapore as a historical subject is often viewed through the lens of the ruling elite. By expending the need to acknowledge the historical function of the citizenry in the island's socio‐economic development, the policies and personalities of the Singaporean leadership have been erroneously and simplistically used by many as an example of how the sheer genius of a few can triumph in the face of overwhelming adversity. This article seeks to trace tangents in the wider development of Singapore's historiography in order to account for the general disinterest in people's histories of Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-25
Number of pages14
JournalHistory Compass
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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