John Connelly’s new book – From Peoples into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe (Princeton University Press, 2020) – is an encyclopedic but lively narrative that captivates both those familiar with old stories about the region and novices who are seeking introduction to this vast laboratory of European modernity. Passionate, erudite, and insightful, the book pursues answers to the central question of Eastern European history: why does nationalism persist as the organizing principle of political life in a region where it has produced such tragedies?
Connelly traces the rise of nationalism in Polish, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman lands; the creation of new states after the First World War and their later absorption by the Nazi Reich and the Soviet Bloc; the reemergence of democracy and separatist movements after the collapse of communism; and the recent surge of populist politics throughout the region.
John Connelly is a Professor of History at the University of California Berkley who works in the fields of modern Eastern European social and political history, the history of education, nationalism studies, and the history of Catholicism.
Vladislav Lilić is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on the place and persistence of quasi-sovereignty in late Ottoman and post-Ottoman Southeastern Europe. Vladislav’s other fields of interest include the socio-legal history of empire, global history of statehood, and the history of international thought. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Vladislav Lilic is a doctoral candidate in Modern European History at Vanderbilt University.