Tormented by History: Nationalism in Greece and Turkey (Columbia/Hurst)

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9780231700528: Tormented by History: Nationalism in Greece and Turkey (Columbia/Hurst)

Tormented by History traces the emergence and development of the Greek and Turkish nationalist projects over the past two hundred years. Grounded in an extensive critical review of the historiography and literature on Greek and Turkish nationalisms, this volume challenges the common belief that the rise of a "Greek" and a "Turkish" nation was inevitable.

Umut Özkirimli, a Turk, and Spyros A. Sofos, a Greek, acknowledge the complexity of the relationship between the two nationalisms and examine issues concerning the politics of language, religion, memory, history, territory, and landscape. They address the complex processes of homogenization, marginalization, and minoritization of populations and cultures as well as institutional support of Greek and Turkish nationalism. They also discuss the place of "constitutive violence," both physical and symbolic, in the nationalist imagination, and the ensuing trauma and sense of loss that came out of the consolidation of Greek and Turkish identities.

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About the Author:

Umut Özkirimli is associate professor of politics and the director of the Center for Turkish-Greek Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University. His previous publications include Theories of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction and Contemporary Debates on Nationalism: A Critical Engagement.Spyros A. Sofos is senior research fellow in European and international studies at the European Research Centre, Kingston University, London. He is the coauthor of Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe and Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Networks.

Review:

The historiography of modern Turkey and Greece is dominated by conflicting national perspectives in which uniqueness is stressed and where the other nation figures as the other. This remarkable collaboration transcends this perspective by bringing together expertise on nationalism in both countries as well as on theoretical debates about nationalism. It proceeds by means of careful comparison, taking various themes which are explored for each case and then compared and contrasted. This is both historically illuminating and a contribution to better understanding between Turkey and Greece.

(John Breuilly, London School of Economics)

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Özkirimli, Umut, Sofos, Spyros
Published by Columbia University Press (2008)
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