John P.R. Eicher
Exiled Among Nations: German and Mennonite Mythologies in a Transnational Age
Publications of the German Historical Institute. Cambridge University Press, 2020.Download
How do groups of people fashion shared identities in the modern world? Following two communities of German-speaking Mennonites, one composed of voluntary migrants and the other of refugees, across four continents between 1870 and 1945, this transnational study explores how religious migrants engaged with the phenomenon of nationalism. John P. R. Eicher demonstrates how migrant groups harnessed the global spread of nationalism to secure practical objectives and create local mythologies. In doing so, he also reveals how governments and aid organizations used diasporic groups for their own purposes - and portraying such nomads as enemies or heroes in national and religious mythologies. By underscoring the importance of local and religious counter-stories that run in parallel to nationalist narratives, Exiled Among Nations helps us understand acts of resistance, flight, and diaspora in the modern world.
John Eicher's introduction is available in open access and can be downloaded above.