Nations and Nationalism

Front Cover
Blackwell, 2006 - Political Science - 152 pages
11 Reviews
Ernest Gellner's Nations and Nationalism (1983) provides one of the most powerful and original interpretations of modern nationalism. Drawing upon a range of disciplines, including philosophy, anthropology, sociology, politics and history, Gellner argues that nationalism is an inescapable consequence of modernity. For this new edition of Nations and Nationalism, John Breuilly, Professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity at the London School of Economics and Political Science, provides a substantial introduction, analysing Gellner's arguments and tracing and evaluating the ways in which the field has changed over the past two decades. Suggestions for further reading have also been updated. Second Edition not available in the USA.

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Review: Nations and Nationalism

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

Gellner gets quite a bit right about the invention of nationalism-- especially how the practices of high culture become masked as ancient and inviolable folk tradition-- but he also gets quite a bit ... Read full review

Review: Nations and Nationalism

User Review  - Cody Paris - Goodreads

Just finished this Seminal work presenting a theory of Nationalsim. Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Ernest Gellner was born in Paris in 1925 and brought up in Prague, fleeing with his family to England in 1939. He taught at the LSE from 1949, where he was Professor of Philosophy with special reference to Sociology from 1962 until 1984, when he became William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. At the end of his life, in 1995, he was Director of the Centre for the Study of Nationalism, part of the Central European University, in Prague. He wrote many books, among them Words and Things (1959), Thought and Change (1964), Saints of the Atlas (1969), Legitimation of Belief (1974), The Psychoanalytic Movement (1985), Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History (1988), Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and its Rivals (1994), and the posthumous Language and Solitude: Wittgenstein, Malinowski and the Habsburg Dilemma (1998).


John Breuilly is Professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity at the London School of Economics. He taught at Manchester University from 1972 until 1995 and at Birmingham University from 1995 until 2004. He has held visiting Professorships at the universities of Hamburg (1987-8) and Bielefeld (1992-3) and a Research Fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin (2001-2). Book publications include Austria, Prussia and Germany 1806-1871 (2002), Nationalismus und moderner Staat. Deutschland und Europa (1999), The Formation of the First German Nation-State, 1800-1871 (1996), and Nationalism and the State (2nd.ed., 1993)

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