University of Wisconsin Press colophon



University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site



Catalog Archive / Fall 2023

Confronting the Nation
Jewish and Western Nationalism

The Collected Works of George L. Mosse

“Penetrating scholarly essays . . . [demonstrate] an easy mastery of cultural and political history.”
Publishers Weekly

Analyzing the interactions of Judaism and nationalism

Confronting the Nation brings together twelve of celebrated historian George L. Mosse’s most important essays to explore competing forms of European nationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Mosse coins the term “civic religion” to describe how nationalism, especially in Germany and France, simultaneously inspired and disciplined the populace through the use of rituals and symbols. The definition of citizenship shaped by this nationalism, however, frequently excluded Jews, who were stereotyped as outsiders who sought to undermine the national community. With keen attention to liberal forms of nationalism, Mosse examines the clash of aspirational visions of an inclusive nation against cultural registers of nativist political ideologies.

Mosse considers a broad range of topics, from Nazi book burnings to Americans’ search for unifying national symbols during the Great Depression, exploring how the development of particular modes of art, architecture, and mass movements served nationalist agendas by dictating who was included in the image of the nation. These essays retain their significance today in their examination of the cultural and social implications of contemporary nationalism. A new critical introduction by Shulamit Volkov, professor emerita of history at Tel Aviv University, situates Mosse’s analysis within its historiographical context.


George L. Mosse (1918–99) was a legendary scholar, teacher, and mentor. A refugee from Nazi Germany, in 1955 he joined the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was both influential and popular. Mosse was an early leader in the study of modern European cultural and intellectual history, the study of fascism, and the history of sexuality and masculinity. Over his career he authored more than two dozen books.




“Confronting the Nation is quintessential George Mosse: passionate, articulate, and wide-ranging.”

“Brings together many of the most convincing arguments of his oeuvre. Mosse is at his best in describing the modes of national self-display.”
—Journal of Jewish Studies



Download Cover: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Exam Copy



Also by George L. Mosse

Germans and Jews: Illustration of a geometric mosaic consisting of various red, orange, and yellow pieces. In the center, a large black rectangle contains the title and author text. Design by Jennifer Conn.

Germans and Jews
The Right, the Left, and the Search for a “Third Force” in Pre-Nazi Germany
With a critical introduction by Sarah Wobick-Segev

Nationalization of the Masses: Illustration of a geometric mosaic consisting of various olive, cream, blue, purple, and brown pieces. In the center, a large black rectangle contains the title and author text. Design by Jennifer Conn.

The Nationalization of the Masses
Political Symbolism and Mass Movements in Germany from the Napoleonic Wars through the Third Reich
With a critical introduction by Victoria de Grazia

Book Title

Larger images

January 2024
240 pp. 6 x 9

Book icon
Paper $21.95 S
ISBN 9780299346447
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart