Nationalists Who Feared the Nation
Adriatic Multi-Nationalism in Habsburg Dalmatia, Trieste, and Venice
Dominique Kirchner Reill
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"In Nationalists Who Feared the Nation, Dominique Kirchner Reill seeks to 'recover the forgotten realities and lost possibilities of nationalism' by questioning the commonly held scholarly understanding of nationalism as a concept intended to enforce homogeneity and eliminate, through a variety of means, diversity . . . [Reill's] book has recovered the lost voices of Adriatic multi-nationalists who proposed alternative and less violent paths towards nationhood, thus rescuing them from the embrace of oversimplified nationalist narratives in which they figure as some of the first fighters for mono-national causes."—Filip Erdeljac, Nationalities Papers
"Dominique Kirchner Reill has written a well-researched book. . . [W]ell worth reading for its lively study of interesting personalities and situations, attractively evoked."—Robin Okey, Slavic Review
"The recent publication of Dominique Reill's monograph on Adriatic nationalism has served to complicate still further our understanding of the cultural definition of the nation in the Risorgimento. In this tightly focused and elegantly written book Reill discusses the concept of nation developed by a group of Dalmatian intellectuals, whose acknowledged leader and source of inspiration was the famous Niccolo Tommaseo."—Past and Present
"Set against the backdrop of 19th-century nationalism, this insightful and deeply researched study examines the careers and programs of six largely forgotten individuals who sought multinational solutions for the areas of Venice, Trieste, and Habsburg Dalmatia. . . . Highly Recommended."—P. W. Knoll, CHOICE
"Dominique Reill presents an extremely sophisticated and subtle theoretical argument about the relationship between nationalism and pluralism, and does so in a way that is both novel and clear. One need not be independently interested in the Adriatic (as I, admittedly, happen to be) in order to recognize the importance of this manuscript's contribution to the study of nationalism."—Alison Frank, Harvard University
"Tightly analyzed, engagingly written, based on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, and path-breaking in its unique perspective on nationalist movements in the first half of the 19th century."—Southern Historical Association
We can often learn as much from political movements that failed as from those that achieved their goals. Nationalists Who Feared the Nation looks at one such frustrated movement: a group of community leaders and writers in Venice, Trieste, and Dalmatia during the 1830s, 40s, and 50s who proposed the creation of a multinational zone surrounding the Adriatic Sea. At the time, the lands of the Adriatic formed a maritime community whose people spoke different languages and practiced different faiths but identified themselves as belonging to a single region of the Hapsburg Empire. While these activists hoped that nationhood could be used to strengthen cultural bonds, they also feared nationalism's homogenizing effects and its potential for violence. This book demonstrates that not all nationalisms attempted to create homogeneous, single-language, -religion, or -ethnicity nations. Moreover, in treating the Adriatic lands as one unit, this book serves as a correction to "national" histories that impose our modern view of nationhood on what was a multinational region.
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