Jakub S. Beneš’s Workers and Nationalism seeks to explain “how the workers that made up one of Europe’s largest Social Democratic movements came to embrace nationalism” (2)—an answer to the enduring question of the paradoxical relationship between socialism and nationalism. The center of Beneš’s story is found not in parliamentary speeches or theoretical treatises or even on the factory floor, as in most works, but in the literary columns of Social Democratic newspapers and in orations on the streets. Indeed, Workers and Nationalism is “a much more cultural answer to the question of how workers in . . . [Habsburg Austria’s] Social Democratic movement became ethnic nationalists” (8). Beneš highlights the significance of print and oral culture, portraying workers as readers and as the authors of a tremendous body of poetry and prose. Their short stories spoke to class-based injustices, and their poems, songs, and orations marked May Day celebrations...

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