Language and Nationalism in Europe Review

Language and Nationalism in Europe
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Language and Nationalism in Europe ReviewThis book is not your typical edited volume of loosely connected contributions. It covers Europe systematically, from Iceland to the Caucasus and from Portugal to the Ural Mountains. Eleven chapters are dedicated to a specific country or region (the British Isles, France, the Iberian Peninsula, Northern Europe, the Low Countries, German-speaking Europe, Italy, Eastern Central Europe, the Balkans, Greece and European Turkey, and Russia). An introductory chapter defines concepts such as nationalism, ethnicity, language, and dialect with unusual clarity; and a concluding chapter provides some questions to ponder. There are 19 pages of references and an 11-page index. The eleven geographic chapters do an excellent job of presenting endlessly convoluted events concisely, without being superficial. They let facts prevail over interpretation, and still tie things together. They cover history as well as current issues, and are very well written and organized (except the chapter about the Balkans, which is as chaotic as the recent history of that part of Europe). In summary, this book offers a tremendous amount of thorough, yet accessible information on the linguistic variety which characterizes just about any country in Europe, and which continues to have strong social and political implications in all corners of the continent.Language and Nationalism in Europe OverviewThis volume examines the role of language in the present and past creation of social, cultural, and national identities in Europe, considering the way in which language may sometimes reinforce national identity (as in England) while tending to subvert the nation-state (as in the United Kingdom). The book describes the interactive roles of language, ethnicity, culture, and institutions in the character and formation of nationalism and identity throughout Europe. A select team of international contributors consider various questions drawing on evidence from the majority of European countries.The book concludes with a consideration of the current relative status of the languages of Europe and how these and the identities they reflect are changing and evolving.

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