lennia nevertheless.rnPfaff is particularly alert to all aspectsrnof the political situation in Germany andrnCentral Europe. He has a high appreciationrnof the value of the multinationalrnsocieties that we smashed in WorldrnWar I: Austria-Hungary and the OttomanrnEmpire. His thesis is that nationalismrnis a phenomenon of recent origin,rnhaving first arisen in England andrnFrance in the course of the HundredrnYears War. In the history of Europe, accordingrnto Pfaff, nationalism has frequentlyrnbeen a disruptive and destructivernforce, most recently in the breakup ofrnwhat used to be Yugoslavia.rnPfaff thinks that America’s naive commitmentrnto democracy as we understandrnit and to national self-determination hasrncaused it to make frequent blundersrnwhose effects on the peace of nationsrnwill be far-reaching. The principle ofrnself-determination, which was so exaltedrnby Woodrow Wilson during and afterrnWodd War I, required the breakup ofrnwhat had been two fairly harmoniousrnsocieties in the prewar period, Austria-rnHungary and the Ottoman Empire, andrncaused insoluble problems to arise acrossrnSoutheastern Europe, ultimately leadingrnto World War II. The mixing andrnintermingling of population groups inrnCentral and Eastern Europe makes itrnimpossible to draw boundaries alongrnnationalistic lines with any degree ofrnequity; until now, all attempts to do sornhave failed. The dismal situation in thernformer Yugoslavia is only the most dramaticrnillustration of this failure, and seriousrntensions will continue to existrnthroughout Eastern Europe and the formerrnU.S.S.R. Although he devotes lessrnattention to Africa and Asia, Pfaff drawsrnour attention to the problems of nationalismrn—often artificial and importedrnfrom the West—on those continents asrnwell.rnNone of the Asian countries was arnnation in the nationalist sense until itrnencountered Europeans. Japan was thernfirst to understand and adopt nationalisticrnprinciples, which permitted thernsmaller nation to defeat both China andrnRussia at the turn of the century andrnwhich tempted it to its unsuccessfulrnchallenge to the United States in WorldrnWar II. Japan’s nationalistic fervor, directedrninto commercial rivalry since thernwar, has given her much of the successrnthat she failed to obtain by force of arms.rnIn Europe, after the nationalistic fragmentationrnthat followed World War I,rntwo or three major attempts at internationalismrnoccurred. Fascism and Nazismrnbegan, to all appearances, as nationalisticrnphenomena, but fascism soon took rootrnoutside of Italy, and Nazism, contraryrnto the common interpretation, wasrnfrom the outset an international phenomenon.rn(Its racially selective internationalism,rnappealing to the Nordicrnnations, was not in Pfaff’s view limitedrnto the state of Germany.) The SovietrnUnion under both Lenin and Stalin wasrninternationalist in orientation, althoughrnStalin found it expedient to evoke thernspirit of Russian nationalism during thernwar with Germany, which he called thernGreat Patriotic War. Stalin attempted tornmake Russian domination of the SovietrnUnion more palatable to the other nationalitiesrnby creating a number of supposedlyrnautonomous republics (thernBaltic states were independent beforernStalin annexed them in 1940). Whenrnthe hardliners’ coup d’etat failed in 1991,rnthis fictitious nationhood suddenly becamerna reality, turning the Soviet Unionrninto the short-lived Commonwealth ofrnIndependent States, which effectivelyrnno longer exists.rnThe most auspicious developmentrnsince World War II to counteract thernevils of nationalism is, in Pfaff’s opinion,rnthe creation of the European Community,rnwhich he believes is unfortunatelyrnentering a critical and dangerous periodrnas a consequence of the emergence ofrnnew nationalistic forces in Central Europe.rnAlthough he praises the economicrncooperation between France and WestrnGermany inaugurated in practical waysrnby Jean Monnet and Konrad Adenauer,rnPfaff fears that the addition of state afterrnstate to the (Western) European economicrnconfederation will make politicalrnunity and a common foreign policy increasinglyrnimpossible, as demonstratedrnby the failure of the European Communityrnto exercise a constructive influencernon the continuing crisis in the formerrnYugoslavia.rnPfaff has some wise but politically incorrectrnideas about the future of Africa,rnarguing that the African states created byrnthe withdrawal of the colonial powersrnare essentially unstable and have generallyrncreated more miserable conditionsrnfor their populations than those that prevailedrnunder the more or less enlightenedrnrule of the colonial powers. Hernalso predicts a very bleak future for SouthrnAfrica after the abdication of the minorityrnwhite government. He recommendsrna reintroduction of a kind of colonialismrnpatterned on the mandates that wererngranted Britain and France after WorldrnWar I, but holds that such mandatesrnwould need to be granted to the UnitedrnNations, rather than to individual powers,rnin order to make them acceptablernboth to the mandating powers and tornthe countries where the mandates are tornbe exercised. Finally, Pfaff considers thernquestion of whether the United States isrna nation, and, if so, how and when it becamernone. He appears sympathetic tornthe cause of the Confederacy and suggestsrnthat if the South had become independentrnthe subsequent history of thernworld might have been much morernpeaceful.rnIn short, Pfaff offers a masterful analysisrnof a situation that he deems almostrnimpossible to remedy, concluding withrnlines that seem to echo Calvin as wellrnas Pascal: “Man as such does not growrnbetter. He is free. He remains the beastrn/angel that Pascal called him, a chaos,rncontradiction, prodigy. He progressesrnonly by recognizing his nature, his miseryrntogether with his sublime possibility.rnA politics has to be built on that.”rnHarold O.J. Brown is the directorrnof The Rockford Institute Center onrnReligion and Society. He teachesrntheology and ethics at TrinityrnEvangelical Divinity School.rnBorder Crossingsrnby Gregory McNameernCutting for Signrnby William LangewieschernISIew York: Pantheon;rn247 pp., $23.00rnIt is by now a truism to say that thernborder between the United States andrnMexico encompasses a third nation, onernthat shares m both societies but thatrnforms its own culture. That may well be,rnbut the border represents different thingsrnto different people. For some Anglos, itrnis a glimpse of Third World exoticismrnout the back door. For others, it is arnsafety hatch, an entrance into a land ofrnmescal, sun, and the long goodbye. Forrnsome Mexicans, it stands as a hateful re-rnJULY 1994/33rnrnrn