THE IDEA OF NATIONALISM: A Study of its Origins and Backgrounds by Hans Kohn

THE IDEA OF NATIONALISM: A Study of its Origins and Backgrounds

Email this review


Presumably this is the first of three definitive, scholarly volumes, and this one covers the roots of modern nationalism, from ancient times to the French Revolution. Subsequent studies will take up the periods from 1789 to 1832, and from 1832 to 1919. Meantime this stands on its own merits as the product of a lifetime of study of sources of European nationalism with the emphasis not on the events but on evaluations of expression varying in different countries. He gives most space, quite naturally, to Germany, Italy, England; his survey of the developments in Spain and Portugal, Switzerland, the Scandinavian and the Low countries, the Balkans and Russia are valuable because so little has hitherto been done in these fields. He shows how nationalism stems from primitive impulses in man, as a state of mind, of group consciousness. He shows foundations laid by Israel and Greece -- lost through ages after Rome -- emerging sporadically at different times, stemming from different sources, culminating in the French Revolution, the turning point.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1944
Publisher: Macmillan