Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

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Verso, Nov 17, 2006 - Political Science - 240 pages
8 Reviews

The definitive, bestselling book on the origins of nationalism, and the processes that have shaped it.

Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson’s brilliant book on nationalism, forged a new field of study when it first appeared in 1983. Since then it has sold over a quarter of a million copies and is widely considered the most important book on the subject. In this greatly anticipated revised edition, Anderson updates and elaborates on the core question: what makes people live and die for nations, as well as hate and kill in their name?

Anderson examines the creation and global spread of the ‘imagined communities’ of nationality, and explores the processes that created these communities: the territorialization of religious faiths, the decline of antique kinship, the interaction between capitalism and print, the development of secular languages-of-state, and changing conceptions of time and space. He shows how an originary nationalism born in the Americas was adopted by popular movements in Europe, by imperialist powers, and by the movements of anti-imperialist resistance in Asia and Africa.

In a new afterword, Anderson examines the extraordinary influence of Imagined Communities, and the book's international publication and reception, from the end of the Cold War era to the present day.

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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

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bdtrump - LibraryThing

An essential read in comparative and global politics, yet deeply flawed due to significant disregard for the importance of ethnicity and culture without strong evidence to do so. Read full review

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About the author (2006)

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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