100 books like National History and New Nationalism in the Twenty-First Century

By Niels F. May (editor), Thomas Maissen (editor),

Here are 100 books that National History and New Nationalism in the Twenty-First Century fans have personally recommended if you like National History and New Nationalism in the Twenty-First Century. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of World History and National Identity in China

Stefan Berger Author Of History and Identity: How Historical Theory Shapes Historical Practice

From my list on why identity issues are so hot in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been working on questions of identity and history for more than thirty years. It's a very personal topic for me, as I come from a working-class background – something that I was acutely aware of throughout my school and university education, where people of my background were comparatively rare. History in my view has the power to construct essentialist identities that exclude and are potentially deadly. But history also has the power to critically question this essentialism and contribute to a more tolerant, open-minded, and self-reflective society. Hence, as a historian, I've been trying to support and strengthen an engaged and enlightened historiography that bolsters a range of progressive identifications without leading to essentialist constructions of collective identities.

Stefan's book list on why identity issues are so hot in history

Stefan Berger Why did Stefan love this book?

Over the last twenty years, China has become one of the most powerful nation-states in the world, both economically and politically. Since 1949 it has been ruled by a Communist Party which is still claiming today that is pursuing socialism with a Chinese face. It unites a turbo-capitalism with a strong nationalism that seeks to bring the Chinese people behind the Communist Party. This book shows how alien nationalism is to many of China’s most distinguished intellectual traditions over the course of the twentieth century. Especially those historians working on non-Chinese topics have for a long time attempted to use their cross-cultural competencies to counter nationalist historical narratives.

By Xin Fan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked World History and National Identity in China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nationalism is pervasive in China today. Yet nationalism is not entrenched in China's intellectual tradition. Over the course of the twentieth century, the combined forces of cultural, social, and political transformations nourished its development, but resistance to it has persisted. Xin Fan examines the ways in which historians working on the world beyond China from within China have attempted to construct narratives that challenge nationalist readings of the Chinese past and the influence that these historians have had on the formation of Chinese identity. He traces the ways in which generations of historians, from the late Qing through the Republican…


Book cover of The Shadow of the Mine: Coal and the End of Industrial Britain

Stefan Berger Author Of History and Identity: How Historical Theory Shapes Historical Practice

From my list on why identity issues are so hot in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been working on questions of identity and history for more than thirty years. It's a very personal topic for me, as I come from a working-class background – something that I was acutely aware of throughout my school and university education, where people of my background were comparatively rare. History in my view has the power to construct essentialist identities that exclude and are potentially deadly. But history also has the power to critically question this essentialism and contribute to a more tolerant, open-minded, and self-reflective society. Hence, as a historian, I've been trying to support and strengthen an engaged and enlightened historiography that bolsters a range of progressive identifications without leading to essentialist constructions of collective identities.

Stefan's book list on why identity issues are so hot in history

Stefan Berger Why did Stefan love this book?

Powerful class identities were formed over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in a range of industrial countries. In the motherland of the industrial revolution, in Britain, those constructions of class were particularly strong among particular occupations. Miners were often seen as the vanguard of class-conscious proletarians the closely-knit mining communities in different parts of the UK seemed to many observers to represent an alternative solidaristic society in the making. This book traces the ruthless destruction of these mining communities in Britain by the neoliberal governments of Margaret Thatcher and is in many respects a tribute to these communities and their values.

By Huw Beynon, Ray Hudson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shadow of the Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No one personified the age of industry more than the miners. The Shadow of the Mine tells the story of King Coal in its heyday - and what happened to mining communities after the last pits closed. Coal was central to the British economy, powering its factories and railways. It carried political weight, too. In the eighties the miners risked everything in a year-long strike against Thatcher's shutdowns. Defeat foretold the death of their industry. Tens of thousands were cast onto the labour market with a minimum amount of advice and support. Yet British politics all of a sudden revolves…


Book cover of Red Banners, Books and Beer Mugs: The Mental World of German Social Democrats, 1863-1914

Stefan Berger Author Of History and Identity: How Historical Theory Shapes Historical Practice

From my list on why identity issues are so hot in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been working on questions of identity and history for more than thirty years. It's a very personal topic for me, as I come from a working-class background – something that I was acutely aware of throughout my school and university education, where people of my background were comparatively rare. History in my view has the power to construct essentialist identities that exclude and are potentially deadly. But history also has the power to critically question this essentialism and contribute to a more tolerant, open-minded, and self-reflective society. Hence, as a historian, I've been trying to support and strengthen an engaged and enlightened historiography that bolsters a range of progressive identifications without leading to essentialist constructions of collective identities.

Stefan's book list on why identity issues are so hot in history

Stefan Berger Why did Stefan love this book?

In the nineteenth century, no class culture was more prominent than the one by German Social Democracy. The German Social Democratic Party topped one million individual members before the outbreak of the First World War and about one-third of the electorate in Imperial Germany vote for its programme of revolution and democratization. This book is about the mental world of the party’s rank and file, their fears, wishes and desires, their dreams, and their beliefs. It talks powerfully about leadership cults, the tensions between nationalism and internationalism, working-class reading habits, and the ideals of republicanism. It is a powerful recreation of a constructed class identity with huge repercussions on politics in Germany.

By Andrea G. Bonnell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Red Banners, Books and Beer Mugs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The German Social Democratic Party was the world's first million-strong political party and was the main force pushing for the democratisation of Imperial Germany before the First World War. This book examines the themes around which the party organized its mainly working-class membership, and analyses the experiences and outlook of rank-and-file party members as well as the party's press and publications. Key topics of inquiry include: the Lassalle cult and leadership, nationalism and internationalism, attitudes to work, the politics of subsistence, the effects of military service, reading and the diffusion of Marx's ideas, cultural organisations, and socialism and republicanism under…


Book cover of Right-Wing Populism and Gender: European Perspectives and Beyond

Stefan Berger Author Of History and Identity: How Historical Theory Shapes Historical Practice

From my list on why identity issues are so hot in history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been working on questions of identity and history for more than thirty years. It's a very personal topic for me, as I come from a working-class background – something that I was acutely aware of throughout my school and university education, where people of my background were comparatively rare. History in my view has the power to construct essentialist identities that exclude and are potentially deadly. But history also has the power to critically question this essentialism and contribute to a more tolerant, open-minded, and self-reflective society. Hence, as a historian, I've been trying to support and strengthen an engaged and enlightened historiography that bolsters a range of progressive identifications without leading to essentialist constructions of collective identities.

Stefan's book list on why identity issues are so hot in history

Stefan Berger Why did Stefan love this book?

Women’s emancipation has made substantial strides in many parts of the global west since the 1970s. Yet, despite the fact that women still remain disadvantaged and discriminated against in many spheres of life, there has been, more recently, a powerful backlash against feminist ideas and practices. Nowhere is this more visible than in the populist right-wing movements that have merged anti-feminist, racist, and national discourses to provide a powerful ideological mix of masculinist identity politics that attacks gender and sexual diversity and seeks to influence sex education in schools. This book analyzes these discourses but it also provides intriguing insights into why somethings women are attracted to anti-feminist new right populisms.

By Gabriele Dietze (editor), Julia Roth (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Right-Wing Populism and Gender as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

While research in right-wing populism has recently been blossoming, a systematic study of the intersection of right-wing populism and gender is still missing, even though gender issues are ubiquitous in discourses of the radical right ranging from "ethnosexism" against immigrants, to "anti-genderism." This volume shows that the intersectionality of gender, race and class is constitutional for radical right discourse. From different European perspectives, the contributions investigate the ways in which gender is used as a meta-language, strategic tool and "affective bridge" for ordering and hierarchizing political objectives in the discourse of the diverse actors of the "right-wing complex."


Book cover of Homecoming: The Path to Prosperity in a Post-Global World

Peter S. Goodman Author Of How the World Ran Out of Everything: Inside the Global Supply Chain

From my list on globalization breaks down what happens next.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the New York Times' Global Economics Correspondent. Over the course of three decades in journalism, I have reported from more than 40 countries, including a six-year stint in China for the Washington Post and five years in London for the Times. I have ridden with truck drivers from Texas to India, visited factories and warehouses from Argentina to Kenya, and explored ports from Los Angeles to Rotterdam.

Peter's book list on globalization breaks down what happens next

Peter S. Goodman Why did Peter love this book?

Here is a book ahead of its time, a work that anticipated the breakdown in globalization to imagine something else – manufacturing clustered closer to customers and a rejection of the sort of efficiency that does not bother to measure the costs of not being able to find medicines in the midst of a pandemic.

By Rana Foroohar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Homecoming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sweeping case that a new age of economic localization will reunite place and prosperity, putting an end to the last half century of globalization—by one of the preeminent economic journalists writing today

“This invaluable book is as bold in its ambitions as it is readable.”—Ian Bremmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Crisis

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Kirkus Reviews

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Thomas Friedman, in The World Is Flat, declared globalization the new economic order. But the reign of globalization as we’ve known it is over, argues Financial…


Book cover of Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

Vinícius Guilherme Rodrigues Vieira Author Of Shaping Nations and Markets: Identity Capital, Trade, and the Populist Rage

From my list on understanding the transformation of capitalism and globalisation.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since 2008, I have conducted research on themes related to International Political Economy. I am currently the co-chair of the research committee on this topic at the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and am passionate about making sense of the interplay between material and symbolic factors that shape capitalism and globalisation. Being based in Brazil, I was stuck when the country—which did not have salient identity cleavages in politics—came to be, after 2008, a hotspot of religious-based right-wing populism associated with the defence of trade liberalisation as globalisation started to face meaningful backlash from White-majority constituencies who are relatively losers of the post-Cold War order in the advanced industrialised democracies.

Vinícius' book list on understanding the transformation of capitalism and globalisation

Vinícius Guilherme Rodrigues Vieira Why did Vinícius love this book?

I love Anderson’s narrative about the formation of nations in the 19th Century and what he calls print capitalism, promoted through books and newspapers. A market organised around the same language fosters both the economy and the very much-needed feeling of community required to organise the state and foster industrial capitalism.

More than four decades after its publication, the book remains thought-provoking as it makes me ask whether a single language suffices to hold nations and markets together.

By Benedict Anderson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Imagined Communities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What are the imagined communities that compel men to kill or to die for an idea of a nation? This notion of nationhood had its origins in the founding of the Americas, but was then adopted and transformed by populist movements in nineteenth-century Europe. It became the rallying cry for anti-Imperialism as well as the abiding explanation for colonialism. In this scintillating, groundbreaking work of intellectual history Anderson explores how ideas are formed and reformulated at every level, from high politics to popular culture, and the way that they can make people do extraordinary things. In the twenty-first century, these…


Book cover of Nationalism

Dean Kostantaras Author Of Nationalism and Revolution in Europe, 1763-1848

From my list on the spread of nationalism in the modern world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a pretty poor student in high school and college but did reasonably well in my history classes. Much of the credit goes to a few inspired teachers who, at least in memory, made me feel that I was a witness at every turn to some grand Gibbonesque moment of truth. Perhaps they aroused in my mind the wonderful prospect of a life spent roaming unfettered in the realm of ideas. In reality, much else comes with the territory but it is nevertheless true that we academic historians get to use up a fair number of unpoliced hours doing just that. Mine have largely been expended on problems of collective identity and the formation of national movements.

Dean's book list on the spread of nationalism in the modern world

Dean Kostantaras Why did Dean love this book?

Tagore (1861-1941) is generally known as a Nobel Prize-winning poet, but he was also a frequent commentator on contemporary political affairs and the crises of his age. Nationalism, which was composed over the years 1916-17, features long ruminations on imperialism, modernity, and the question of Indian independence, among other subjects of pressing interest to Tagore and his contemporaries. Each chapter affords the reader with an opportunity to experience in full the author’s talents as he strives to put into words his vision for a future shaped neither by "the colourless vagueness of cosmopolitanism, nor the fierce self-idolatry of nation-worship." Instructors may find the work to be an especially valuable resource for stimulating class discussions.

By Rabindranath Tagore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nationalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nationalism' by Rabindranath Tagore is a compilation of lectures written in lucid, metaphoric, poetic prose during the 'First World War' and the 'Swadeshi movement' in India. It explicates the idea of moral and spiritual growth for the welfare of people, making it even more relevant in today's environment of violence. These lectures bear testimony of its eternity and cannot be wrapped or concealed under the influence of ancient limitations of historical consideration.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a renowned poet, musician, polymath, Ayurveda-researcher and an artist who recast music, Bengali literature and Indian art in the late 19th and early 20th…


Book cover of Thought and Change

John Hutchinson Author Of The Dynamics of Cultural Nationalism: The Gaelic Revival and the Creation of the Irish Nation State

From my list on nationalism and identity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always felt like an outsider and so have been preoccupied by questions of identity and belonging. In my youth, I became fascinated by the great Irish writers W. B. Yeats and James Joyce and their struggles with such questions after my family moved from Ulster to Scotland. As a young academic in Brisbane, I encountered fierce debates about Australian national identity as it shifted from a British heritage to a multicultural society. In the flux of the modern world, our identities are always under challenge and often require painful renovation.

John's book list on nationalism and identity

John Hutchinson Why did John love this book?

Gellner is, for me, one of the most original social thinkers of our time and shocks you out of your assumptions.

In this book, among much else, he offers the most incisive version of his theory of nationalism. Turning Kedourie on his head just as Marx did to Hegel, he argues that nationalist ideas are so much froth and are a product of larger structural forces. They arise in the transition from agro-literate to industrial societies.

Nationalism’s real significance is not a return to a folk past, but its creation of high cultures in the language of the people propagated in national educational systems that provide the basis of scientific modernity. So far from being a cause of war, nationalism makes a liberal international order possible.

Brilliantly written, this is an iconoclastic counter to both Smith and Kedourie.

By Ernest Gellner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thought and Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

made into a corollary


Book cover of Nationalism

John Hutchinson Author Of The Dynamics of Cultural Nationalism: The Gaelic Revival and the Creation of the Irish Nation State

From my list on nationalism and identity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always felt like an outsider and so have been preoccupied by questions of identity and belonging. In my youth, I became fascinated by the great Irish writers W. B. Yeats and James Joyce and their struggles with such questions after my family moved from Ulster to Scotland. As a young academic in Brisbane, I encountered fierce debates about Australian national identity as it shifted from a British heritage to a multicultural society. In the flux of the modern world, our identities are always under challenge and often require painful renovation.

John's book list on nationalism and identity

John Hutchinson Why did John love this book?

This is fun to read.

Kedourie passionately hates nationalism, which he sees as an irrational millenarian movement born of Enlightenment intellectuals who debunk religion and tradition. He disparages it as a "children’s crusade" on the part of a new group of educated young excluded from power that they see as their right. They promise that the overthrow of the existing order will deliver liberation and earthly salvation but this produces only revolution, war, and tyranny.

It is vividly written, with brilliant characterisations of individual nationalists. This unbalanced critique proposes that wrong ideas, such as national self-determination, have disastrous consequences. But it contains important insights into the "dark side" of nationalism.

By Elie Kedourie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nationalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This edition of Elie Kedourie's Nationalism brings back into print one of the classic texts of our times. With great elegance and lucidity, the author traces the philosophical foundations of the nationalist doctrine, the conditions which gave rise to it, and the political consequences of its spread in Europe and elsewhere over the past two centuries. As Isaiah Berlin wrote of the original edition, "Kedourie's account of these ideas and their effect is exemplary: clear, learned and just."

In a new introduction the author reflects upon the origins of the book and the relationship of his argument to contemporary nationalist…


Book cover of The Middle East from Empire to Sealed Identities

Geoffrey P. Nash Author Of From Empire to Orient: Travellers to the Middle East 1830-1926

From my list on understanding Imperialism in the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I graduated from Oxford University in 1975 at a time of social and economic crisis for Great Britain. My country has since unraveled from being a world imperial power to a petty nationalist rump on the western fringes of Europe. In addition to England I’ve taught at universities in North East Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, areas of the world where the British Empire once held sway. And I’ve also participated in conferences on various Middle Eastern topics in venues in the United States, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Morocco to name but a few. Hence my fascination with the Middle East and how the Western empires have impacted upon it.

Geoffrey's book list on understanding Imperialism in the Middle East

Geoffrey P. Nash Why did Geoffrey love this book?

The pressures modernity and European governments (Great Britain especially), brought upon peoples of the Middle East in the late imperial age are here re-presented. In this revisionary study Lorenzo Kamel, Associate Professor of History at the University of Turin, "demonstrates how the heterogeneous identities of Middle Eastern peoples were sealed into a standardized and uniform version that persists today." Extensively researched and full of new material, Kamel’s book shows how the region transitioned from empire into nation-states, and how the modern ethnically-conceived countries of Israel and modern Turkey, and embattled ones like Lebanon and Iraq, came into being.

By Lorenzo Kamel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Middle East from Empire to Sealed Identities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This compelling analysis of the modern Middle East - based on research in 19 archives and numerous languages - shows the transition from an internal history characterised by local realities that were plural and multidimensional, and where identities were flexible and hybrid, to a simplified history largely imagined and imposed by external actors. This version of history is distinguished by the politicisation of these identities with the aim of better grasping and, ultimately, controlling them. The author shows - mainly through a study of key moments, including the germs of competing ethno-religious visions in the 1830s, the Ottoman Tanzimat, the…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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