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Understanding Multiculturalism.

Understanding Multiculturalism

Johannes Feichtinger & Gary B. Cohen

Berghahn Books

20 Jay Street, Suite 512, Brooklyn, NY 11201

9781782382645, $120.00, HC, 256pp,

Synopsis: Multiculturalism has long been linked to calls for tolerance of cultural diversity, but today many observers are subjecting the concept to close scrutiny. After the political upheavals of 1968, the commitment to multiculturalism was perceived as a liberal manifesto, but in the post-9/11 era, it is under attack for its relativizing, particularist, and essentializing implications.

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Johannes Feichtinger (a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and who teaches history at the University of Vienna) and Gary B. Cohen (Professor of Modern Central European history at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) "Understanding Multiculturalism: The Habsburg Central European Experience" is comprised of nine major essays offering a nuanced analysis of the multifaceted cultural experience of Central Europe under the late Habsburg monarchy and beyond.

The contributors examine how culturally coded social spaces can be described and understood historically without adopting categories formerly employed to justify the definition and separation of groups into nations, ethnicities, or homogeneous cultures. As we consider the issues of multiculturalism today, "Understanding Multiculturalism" offers new approaches to understanding multiculturalism in Central Europe freed of the effects of politically exploited concepts of social spaces.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of a twenty-four page Bibliography, a four page listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a nine page Index, "Understanding Multiculturalism: The Habsburg Central European Experience" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to college and university library collections. For the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject it should be noted that Understanding Multiculturalism" is also available in a paperback edition (9781785333446, $34.95).

Michael Dunford


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Title Annotation:Understanding Multiculturalism: The Habsburg Central European Experience
Author:Dunford, Michael
Publication:MBR Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2017
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