There are many books on the subjects of nations and nationalism; and, indeed, new ones appear almost daily. As a consequence, it is difficult to draw attention to even the more important ones without overlooking a number of others worthy of careful consideration, especially covering subjects that are so controversial. Thus, in addition to the works listed in the references to each chapter, I have, in what follows, provided a brief overview of a few of the more important books on nations and nationalism.
Historical works on a particular nation are almost as old as our first written records; certainly, there are examples from antiquity such as Josephus’s The Antiquities of the Jews. Nevertheless, one can say that the scholarly study of the nation, as a problem to be explained, began in the latter half of the 18th century with two works by Johann Gottfried von Herder, Yet Another Philosophy of History for the Education of Mankind (New York, 1968) and Reflections on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind (Chicago, 1968). For a critical evaluation of these works, see Freidrich Meinecke, Historism (London, 1972); and Steven Grosby, ‘Herder’s Theory of the Nation’ in Encyclopaedia of Nationalism, ed. Athena S. Leoussi (New Brunswick, 2001).
Discussions of the nation appeared with greater frequency in the 19th century. Some of the more noteworthy were Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Addresses to the German Nation (New York, 1968); Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Philosophy of History (New York, 1956); John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, ‘Nationality’ in Essays in the History of Liberty (Indianapolis, 1986); and especially Ernest Renan, ‘What is a Nation?’ in The Poetry of the Celtic Races and Other Studies (London, 1896).
Among the many works on the nation written in the aftermath of World War I, important were Freidrich Meinecke, Cosmopolitanism and the National State (Princeton, 1970); Johan Huizinga, ‘Patriotism and Nationalism in European History’ in Men and Ideas (Princeton, 1984); Carlton Hayes, Essays on Nationalism (New York, 1926); and The Historical Evolution of Modern Nationalism (New York, 1931). It was during this period that works by the most prolific, until recently, writer on nationalism, Hans Kohn, began to appear.
During and immediately following World War II, attempts to understand the nation, nationalism, fascism, and the political movements for national independence resulted in numerous works. Significant contributions during this period would include Hans Kohn, The Idea of Nationalism (New York, 1943); The Age of Nationalism (New York, 1962); Frederick Hertz, Nationality in History and Politics (London, 1944); Louis Snyder, The Meaning of Nationalism (New Brunswick, 1954); Karl Deutsch, Nationalism and Social Communication (Cambridge, 1953); Elie Kedourie, Nationalism (London, 1960); Nationalism in Asia and Africa (New York, 1970); and Hugh Seton-Watson, Nations and States (London, 1977). Sophisticated analyses of nations now appeared by ancient and medieval historians, for example Frank Walbank, ‘The Problem of Greek Nationality’ and ‘Nationality as a Factor in Roman History’, in Selected Papers (Cambridge, 1985); Ernest Kantorowicz, ‘Pro Patria Mori in Medieval Political Thought’, The American Historical Review LVI/3 (April 1951): 472–92; Gaines Post, ‘Two Notes on Nationalism in the Middle Ages’, Traditio IX (1953): 281–320; and Joseph Strayer, ‘France: The Holy Land, the Chosen People, and the Most Christian King’, in Medieval Statecraft and the Perspectives of History (Princeton, 1971).
Furthermore, during this period there appeared a number of important works on the ideology of nationalism by intellectual historians such as George Mosse, The Crisis of German Ideology (New York, 1964).
In the last 25 years, significant works on the nation have included John Armstrong, Nations Before Nationalism (Chapel Hill, 1982); Dominique Schnapper, Community of Citizens (New Brunswick, 1998); Adrian Hastings, The Constitution of Nationhood (Cambridge, 1997); Steven Grosby, Biblical Ideas of Nationality: Ancient and Modern (Winona Lake, 2002); John Hutchinson, Nations as Zones of Conflict (London, 2005). Worthy of careful attention are the books by the most prolific and thoughtful writer on this subject during this period, Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origin of Nations (Oxford, 1986); Nationalism and Modernism (London, 1998); Myths and Memories of the Nation (Oxford, 1999); The Nation in History (Hanover, 2000); Chosen Peoples (Oxford, 2004); and The Antiquity of Nations (Cambridge, 2004).
Other influential, recent books would include Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (London, 1983); Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Ithaca, 1983); John Breuilly, Nationalism and the State (Chicago, 1982); and Liah Greenfeld, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (Cambridge, 1992). There are also numerous case studies of high quality, such as John Hutchinson, The Dynamics of Cultural Nationalism: The Gaelic Revival and the Creation of the Irish National State (London, 1987); and works on the relation of nations and nationalism to other human activities, such as George Mosse, Nationalism and Sexuality (Madison, 1985); Athena Leoussi, Nationalism and Classicism (New York, 1998); and to philosophy, David Miller, On Nationality (Oxford, 1995).