Pieter Judson, “Guardians of the Nation: Activists on the Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria” (Harvard UP, 2006)
What if much of what we think we know about nationalism and the spread of the national identity over the course of the nineteenth century were wrong? This view is so widely accepted and ingrained in how we talk about… Read More
Alexander Maxwell, “Choosing Slovakia: Slavic Hungary, the Czechoslovak Language, and Accidental Nationalism” (Tauris Academic Studies, 2009)
On 1 January 1993 Slovakia became an independent nation. According to conventional Slovak nationalist history that event was the culmination of a roughly thousand year struggle. Alexander Maxwell argues quite differently in his book Choosing Slovakia: Slavic Hungary, the Czechoslovak Read More
Kimberly Zarecor, “Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960” (Pittsburgh UP, 2011)
When I first went to the Soviet Union (in all my ignorance), I was amazed that everyone in Moscow lived in what I called “housing projects.” The Russians called them “houses” (doma), but they weren’t houses as I… Read More
Melissa Caldwell, “Dacha Idylls: Living Organically in Russia’s Countryside” (University of California Press, 2010)
Russians’ dachas are regularly mentioned in a sentence or two in newspaper articles about life in Russia, and many of who have visited the lands of the former Soviet Union have visited dachas. Yet, just as Russians themselves treat dachas… Read More
Francis Tapon, “The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us” (WanderLearn, 2012)
Most of the specialists in Eastern Europe I know first got truly interested in the region after a trip, which then triggered applications to grad school, years spent reading books, and a year or two in the particular country or… Read More
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