Author's response: I find myself in the unusual position of admiring aspects of Alexey Miller's negative review of my book on nationalism in modern Europe. His criticisms are, I have to admit, formulated with verve and are rendered fluidly in Borislav Chernev's translation from the Russian original. I respect Prof. Miller's work and therefore his perspective on my book. Yet in light of the vehemence of some of his comments, I feel the need to respond at least briefly. I should state at the outset that while I solicited input from colleagues and specialists in a variety of fields, I take full responsibility for whatever errors may persist in the text. As Prof. Miller notes, it was indeed Józef Zajonczek, rather than Grand Duke Constantine, who held the official title of viceroy of the Kingdom of Poland starting in 1815, although mine is far from the only account to characterize Constantine's extensive influence as approximating the role of viceroy in practical terms. The number executed in the Decembrist revolt was indeed five (including Pavel Pestel) rather than four, and my suggestion that Adam Mickiewicz was somehow imprisoned "for several years" in 1824, rather than for several months, is an obvious error that I should have caught in proofreading. While not characteristic of the text as a whole, such points are certainly fair game for criticism.
In regard to Prof. Miller's broader comments, however, I think it is especially important to keep in mind the book's stated intent and scope. It was not written primarily for specialists, nor was it envisioned as a novel intervention in the field of nationalism studies. It is intended mainly as an introductory text for a student readership that often, sadly, lacks a basic understanding of the narrative flow of modern European history. The book attempts to locate the emergence and development of nationalist ideas and movements within that broader narrative. The nature of the book's intended readership contributed to the decision to emphasize English-language works in the notes and bibliography, as stated clearly in the introduction. This should not be seen in any way as an indication that I believe, as Prof. Miller puts it, that "all important works … have been published in English." It is instead the result of a practical decision about where best to steer English-language students for further reading. As Prof. Miller also notes, the book addresses an incredibly expansive topic in a limited amount of space, attempting to cover more than two centuries – from the French Revolution to Brexit – and much of the geographic expanse of Europe in some 330 pages (including notes). That scope brings with it the potential for a number of omissions, including some important recent work on empire and on global entanglements outside of Europe, as well as temporal and geographic imbalances within Europe. Certain readers could perhaps argue that too much attention is given to France, Germany, Spain, and Italy; others, conversely, might take issue with the extended discussions of Scandinavia, Belgium, or the Balkans. Relative imbalances and omissions are not, of course, desirable virtues. But in a text like this, they are difficult to avoid entirely.
Ultimately, I respect Prof. Miller's perspective, and many of his criticisms are well-taken. But it is my hope that, despite the book's imperfections, its intended readership will find its narrative approach at least somewhat more useful than he did.