Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

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Verso, 2016 - Nationalism - 240 pages
This "sparkling" and world-famous work examines what drives people to live, die, and kill in the name of nations--revealing the surprising origins and development of nationalism (The Guardian)

The full magnitude of Benedict Anderson's intellectual achievement is still being appreciated and debated. Imagined Communities remains the most influential book on the origins of nationalism, filling the vacuum that previously existed in the traditions of Western thought. Cited more often than any other single English-language work in the human sciences, it is read around the world in more than thirty translations.

Written with exemplary clarity, this illuminating study traces the emergence of community as an idea to South America, rather than to nineteenth-century Europe. Later, this sense of belonging was formed and reformulated at every level, from high politics to popular culture, through print, literature, maps and museums. Following the rise and conflict of nations and the decline of empires, Anderson draws on examples from South East Asia, Latin America and Europe's recent past to show how nationalism shaped the modern world.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aitastaes - LibraryThing

What are the imagined communities that compel men to kill or to die for an idea of a nation? This notion of nationhood had its origins in the founding of the Americas, but was then adopted and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gregdehler - LibraryThing

Nationalism and the nation-state are fairly recent phenomena, dating to the 1500s. How did they come together and how has the idea of nationalism been perpetuated in the modern era? Anderson sees the ... Read full review

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About the author (2016)

Benedict Anderson was Aaron L. Binenkorp Professor of International Studies Emeritus at Cornell University. He was Editor of the journal Indonesia and author of numerous books including A Life Beyond Boundaries, Java in a Time of Revolution, The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World and The Age of Globalization: Anarchists and the Anticolonial Imagination.

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