‘Stefano Bianchini‘s book is a successful effort at building a broad and sturdy bridge between Central European spaces and memories whose grand narratives had long existed, separated from each other like non-connecting vessels. The shadows of the Habsburg, Romanov, and Ottoman empires still hinder an understanding of similarities between the Balkans and the Baltics and prevent us from seeing the bloody conflicts in Bosnia and Ukraine within one comparative perspective. The author puts to work the long historical and political experience of the spring of nations; tells a history enriched by the methods of political science; and helps the reader to gain a better understanding of the behavior of nations on both sides of the European Union's Southeastern boundary. This book gives back to a Central Europe long divided by borders and iron curtains its commonality, which doubtless was deeply felt by the 19th century collective heroes Bianchini describes. If academic wisdom can still help dispel the European fog, then this book comes at just the right time and place.’
– Egidijus Aleksandravičius, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
‘The book by Stefano Bianchini is an excellent study of how the ideas of nationalism developed, empires disintegrated and new states appeared, how the contradiction between the globalized strata and those who prefer to live in a closed society formed, and what it can lead to. I strongly recommend this research not only to scholars and students, but to all those who think on the future of Europe.’
– Konstantin Khudoley, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia
‘A majestic account of the travails of democracy’s widening scope in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.'
– Jean Blondel, European University Institute, Italy