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Before the Nation argues that there is more than a grain of truth to these nostalgic traditions. It points to the fact that inter-communality, a mode of everyday living based on the accommodation of cultural difference, was a normal and stabilizing feature of multi-ethnic societies.


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Drawing largely from an oral archive containing interviews with over refugees, Nicholas Doumanis examines the mentalities, cosmologies, and value systems as they relate to cultures of coexistence. He furthermore rejects the commonplace assumption that the empire was destroyed by inter-communal hatreds. Historians have never showed serious regard to these memories, given the refugees had fled from horrific 'ethnic' violence that appeared to reflect deep-seated and pre-existing animosities.

Refugee nostalgia seemed pure fantasy; perhaps contrived to lessen the pain and humiliations of displacement. Before the Nation argues that there is more than a grain of truth to these nostalgic traditions. It points to the fact that intercommunality, a mode of everyday living based on the accommodation of cultural difference, was a normal and stabilizing feature of multi-ethnic societies.

Refugee memory and other ethnographic sources provide ample illustration of the beliefs and practices associated with intercommunal living, which local Muslims and Christian communities likened to a common moral environment. Drawing largely from an oral archive containing interviews with over refugees, Nicholas Doumanis examines the mentalities, cosmologies, and value systems as they relate to cultures of coexistence.

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He furthermore rejects the commonplace assumption that the empire was destroyed by intercommunal hatreds. Doumanis emphasizes the role of state-perpetrated political violence which aimed to create ethnically homogenous spaces, and which went some way in transforming these Anatolians into Greeks and Turks. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Other Editions 3.

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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Apr 03, Adam DeVille, Ph. This is a really splendid piece of history very capably told about an incredibly complex place, period, and set of actors.

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Nov 19, Paul rated it it was amazing Shelves: middle-eastern-history , reviewed. In Before the Nation , Nicholas Doumanis attempts to uncover why, despite historians having traditionally viewed the late Ottoman Empire as an era of sectarian conflict, regional refugees remember the era prior to the Balkan Wars as one of peace and intercommunality. The work suggests that the perspective of the past as having been plagued by violence is based on western standards that view cultural homogeneity as the norm, which led historians to seek out and emphasize incidences of conflict.


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Th In Before the Nation , Nicholas Doumanis attempts to uncover why, despite historians having traditionally viewed the late Ottoman Empire as an era of sectarian conflict, regional refugees remember the era prior to the Balkan Wars as one of peace and intercommunality. The late Ottomans themselves, however, perceived heterogeneity as standard and were aware of the potential for conflict, leading them to be particularly careful in avoiding it. Moreover, they realized that collaboration could help bring order and prosperity, strengthen social bonds, uphold the reputation of the community, and preserve communal boundaries.

The westernized and self-aware Greek minority was appropriated by intellectuals to represent all Greeks living within the Empire, despite the absence of strong connections between the citizens of Greece and their counterparts in Anatolia. The idea that nationalism, and later violence, is driven by societal and political elites and imposed upon an Ottoman population that had little conception of, or concern with, cementing an identity within rigid boundaries becomes a recurring theme.

The fact that elites left records and sources where average individuals did not led to a historical bias wherein the Greek community at large was portrayed as nationalistic and conflict-driven based on the undertakings and assessments of an activist minority.

Before the Nation: Muslim-Christian Coexistence and its Destruction in Late-Ottoman Anatolia

Doumanis expands upon these themes in his second chapter as he investigates the more pragmatic manifestations of intercommunal relations with Muslims and argues that they were both necessary and genuine. Please try again. About this product. Stock photo. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. See details. See all 2 brand new listings.

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  5. About this product Product Information It is common for survivors of ethnic cleansing and even gecide to speak stalgically about earlier times of intercommunal harmony and brotherhood. After being driven from their Anatolian homelands, Greek Orthodox refugees insisted that they 'lived well with the Turks', and yearned for the days when they worked and drank coffee together, participated in each other's festivals, and even prayed to the same saints.

    Historians have never showed serious regard to these memories, given the refugees had fled from horrific 'ethnic' violence that appeared to reflect deep-seated and pre-existing animosities. Refugee stalgia seemed pure fantasy; perhaps contrived to lessen the pain and humiliations of displacement.