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Exiled Among Nations
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Book description

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.


'Eicher offers a masterful analysis of the collective narratives of two highly-mobile Mennonite groups, presenting a revisionist critique of their institutions and accepted categories of identity. His study of nationalist mythologies within and about migrating religious communities is particularly relevant in an era of increasing global mobility and growing nationalism.'

Marlene Epp - University of Waterloo, Ontario

'This book is exquisitely written, ambitiously conceptualized and thoroughly researched. It successfully advances our understanding of the link between nationalism, migration and global diaspora, and the place of an ethno-religious minority, the Mennonites, in it.'

Royden Loewen - University of Winnipeg

'Eicher provides fascinating insights into the mythologies of religious diaspora groups. Exiled among Nations is rich in detail and wide-ranging in its theoretical ramifications.'

Stefan Manz - Aston University, Birmingham

'This is a meticulously researched book about an atypical group of migrants: German-speaking Mennonites. Between 1874 and 1945, these people migrated from Russia through Canada and Germany to Paraguay. Based on archives in five different countries, John P. R. Eicher develops an exciting story of diaspora in the age of imperialism.'

Stefan Rinke - Free University of Berlin

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