"The editors hope to overcome two tendencies. The first tendency is to treat the 'process of creating national identity in Central and Southeast Europe' as something exceptional. The editors very much reject the idea of studying these cultures only in terms of themselves. However, they also reject any notion of explaining these cultures by comparing them to an ideal Western type: 'we sought to abandon the 'Platonic' image dividing the continent in two ontologically incompatible worlds: the transcendent world of the Real – the Occident, and its ontologically inferior imitation – the Orient, the 'Remainder of Europe'. The editors of this series very much succeed in their attempt to get readers to look across national boundaries when studying the region. The multitude of languages required by any scholar to pursue cross-cultural comparisons in the region is no doubt a discouragement to many. By taking the time to provide the documents in English translation in one central collection, the editors have done much to facilitate the breaking down of traditional boundaries."