Enlightened absolutism in Eastern Europe
Ray Wolff. Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization around the Mind from the Enlightenment. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford College Press, 1994. xiv + 419 pp.
Examined by Susan Parman (California Condition College, Fullerton)
Ray Wolff's book is a superb illustration of the genre of interdisciplinary writing being carried out by historians, anthropologists, economists, cartographers, and sociologists of understanding by which politico-economic processes are associated with ideological buildings. "Eastern Europe" is less a current physical region being an intellectual invention of the cultural zone built throughout the Enlightenment through travel journals and maps, imaginary travelogues, and armchair philosophizing. Thus it is less in regards to a place because it is in regards to a process. It might be suggested not just because of its details about explanations of Eastern Europe three hundred years ago (in the selective explanations of actual vacationers, for example William Coxe, towards the vicarious travelogues of armchair philosophers for example Voltaire), however for its critical management of the minds of Stated, Wallerstein, Hobsbawm, yet others worried about the establishment of intellectual limitations and also the invention of tradition.
Wolff introduces his discussion of "Eastern Europe" using the speech produced by Winston Churchill in 1946 that referred to an iron curtain dividing the "Region" into eastern and western parts (p. 1), after which argues that this type of division dates towards the Enlightenment. Throughout the Enlightenment, the greater prominent division of Europe into south and north (apparent to Mediterranean-around Romans, and reinvented throughout the Renaissance) was overlayed by an east/west axis that started to defend myself against significance within the "north." Northern metropolitan areas in The European Union for example Paris, London, and Amsterdam became economically and politically effective, whereas northern lands in Eastern Europe (for example Belgium and Russia) were places of potential conquest through the West. Throughout the Enlightenment, The European Union required around the associations of "civilization" (formerly restricted to an italian man , Renaissance metropolitan areas from the "south"), and Eastern Europe required around the qualities of civilization's antithesis (formerly connected using the barbarians from the "north").