Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

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Verso, 1991 - Political Science - 224 pages
142 Reviews
What makes people love and die for nations, as well as hate and kill in their name? While many studies have been written on nationalist political movements, the sense of nationality—the personal and cultural feeling of belonging to the nation—has not received proportionate attention. In this widely acclaimed work, Benedict Anderson examines the creation and global spread of the 'imagined communities' of nationality.

Anderson explores the processes that created these communities: the territorialisation of religious faiths, the decline of antique kingship, the interaction between capitalism and print, the development of vernacular languages-of-state, and changing conceptions of time. He shows how an originary nationalism born in the Americas was modularly adopted by popular movements in Europe, by the imperialist powers, and by the anti-imperialist resistances in Asia and Africa.

This revised edition includes two new chapters, one of which discusses the complex role of the colonialist state's mindset in the development of Third World nationalism, while the other analyses the processes by which all over the world, nations came to imagine themselves as old.
  

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Review: Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

User Review  - Justin Dell - Goodreads

This is an interesting, teleological primer on the history of the development of nationalism. It does not make for light reading though, as Anderson has a very abstruse writing style. Read full review

Review: Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

User Review  - Summer Brennan - Goodreads

Such an important book, I will never stop talking about it. Not winning any points for lyricism, but I don't care. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Cultural Roots
9
The Origins of National Consciousness
37
Creole Pioneers
47
Old Languages New Models
67
Official Nationalism and Imperialism
83
The Last Wave
113
Patriotism and Racism
141
The Angel of History
155
Census Map Museum
163
Memory and Forgetting
187
Bibliography
207
Index
213
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Benedict Anderson is Aaron L. Binenkorp Professor of International Studies Emeritus at Cornell University. He is editor of the journal Indonesia and author of Java in a Time of Revolution, The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World and Imagined Communities.

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