Nationalism has long been regarded as a specter of far-right
ideology. Hitler, Mussolini, and Milosevic have been some of its
most destructive practitioners. But do these dictators and their
movements accurately reflect the concept of nationalism? In his
introductory essay, Michael Lind provocatively argues that we have
forgotten the true theory of nationalism and seeks to revitalize
its potential as a positive cultural and political force.
The Nationalist Reader includes writings by leaders and thinkers
as diverse as Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin
Roosevelt, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Kissinger, and James Fallows.
These thinkers make the case that instead of being divisive and
reactionary, nationalism can be a dynamic and uniting force. The
underlying message of nationalism -- loyalty and belief in your
country -- can actually be put to good use in America today,
reinvigorating our stale politics and tired civic culture and
helping to reduce strife and conflict among the many different
groups within our borders. Properly understood, nationalism can
restore our sense of common purpose and community.
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