Diana Muir

Diana Muir

Photograph by Elizabeth Waugh

Diana Muir Appelbaum is at work on a book tentatively entitled Nationhood: The Foundation of Democracy.

Her previous book, Reflections in Bullough’s Pond; Economy and Ecosystem in New England, explores the interaction of the economy, the ecosystem and population growth in shaping the history of New England. The region is important because it had an extremely early Industrial Revolution, parallel with that of Britain. It was the New England invention of interchangeable parts manufacturing and the New England-invented machine tools that, along with such New England-invented precision manufacturing devices as the vernier caliper, that made it possible for the British-invented steam engine to change the world.

The project  that Appelbaum is working on addresses two inextricably interconnected ideas that dominate modern political thought: the idea that individuals can collectively constitute a people or nation with a right to self-government, and the idea that nationhood is a precondition of liberal democratic government.